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Nike F.C. Cup Profile: Akeisha Sandhu

Nike F.C. Cup Profile: Akeisha Sandhu

Article by: Bella Sewards

Fri, Jul 01.22

Nike F.C. Cup Profile: Akeisha Sandhu

“You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, so just enjoy today.” Akeisha Sandhu lives every day to its absolute fullest. “I said to myself once I finished studying… I just want to focus on soccer and see how I go.”

 

 

The 22 year old South Melbourne FC captain didn’t have the easiest start to her football journey. “I was the worst player,” she says. “The boys never passed me the ball.” At 8 years old, Akeisha moved to a girls team in country New South Wales (NSW), but was surrounded by players stronger and older than her. “I said, are they going to pass me the ball?” 


Soon after, she found her footing on the pitch, and her talent was recognised. Akeisha was selected to represent NSW Country at the national championships. However, just when she seemed to have found her place in the NSW football system, she was faced with a daunting prospect. Her family was relocating to Victoria.

 

 

Fortunately for Akeisha, the move did little to quash her football ambitions. Her competitive nature comes out when she speaks about her love for the game. “I just hate losing,” she says. “When you get to beat someone one on one…or you score a great team goal. When you know you had a good game, it makes you feel happy.” 


Her Victorian football journey has spanned across four top-tier clubs, but at South Melbourne FC, her current club, she’s taken on the responsibility of captain. Despite being only 22 years old, she’s considered a senior member of the young team . “I said to Aleks Sinclair [Calder United captain and senior player], what do I do?” Club rivalry aside, the Calder veteran was more than happy to offer her advice. Akeisha’s gratitude towards her is clear as she tells us about this encounter.


The challenge of captaining such a young side is one that Akeisha has adapted to quickly. “All these young girls have got the energy and the attitude to want to do things.” She speaks optimistically about the team, and it’s clear that she is trying to lead by example.“We all have that common goal to do well for this club, and whatever you require from me, you just tell me.”

 

 

Whilst the season has been one full of learning experiences, the team finds itself in the upcoming semi finals of the Nike F.C Cup. Akeisha’s face lights up as she talks about the thrill of knockout matches. “I love it,” she says. “When you go into the game, it doesn’t matter who you’re going to verse, it’s a must win.” After last year’s defeat to Calder United in the final, she’s hoping to face the four time champions. “I would love to be the team that beats them.”


From talking to Akeisha, it’s clear that football plays a major role in her life. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, however. “For me it [one of the biggest challenges] would probably be my injuries,” she laments. It’s no surprise then when she tells us she’s about to complete an osteopathy degree. The importance of rehabilitation and gym work isn’t lost on her. “I feel so much better physically and mentally now.”

 

 

She pauses as she continues to consider the challenges she has faced both in football and in life. “I didn’t know if I was going to talk about this… losing my dad [in 2020] has been really difficult. Every training session and every game he would be there. Now I look over and I don’t see that, and it hurts.” 


Hearing Akeisha talk about losing her dad was heartbreaking. She talks about how the bond they shared drives her to achieve her goals. “Now it’s more of a push,” she says. “I just want to focus on football and hopefully achieve that one goal [playing in the A-League] for him.”

 

 

Despite the unimaginable challenges that Akeisha has faced, she continues to flourish as both a footballer and a person. She’s as hard working and determined as can be. There is no doubt that whichever path she chooses to take in life, her strong mentality will guide her.

 


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