Sandra Brentnall has the distinction of scoring Australia's first ever goal in 'A' international competition. Between 1979 and 1983 she was an ever-present for the Matilda's, making 11 appearances and scoring eight goals at the highest level of women's football. Her achievements flowed through to the local scene where Brentnall has been voted the league's Fairest and Best ten times in a remarkable 36-season career.
Born in England, Brentnall captained her local boys’ team until the age of ten when her family immigrated to Perth. After a year out of the game she reconvened her career with Kiev in 1975 , the striker finishing her first two season as the clubs’ top goal scorer. A few weeks after playing a key role in Kiev's 1976 Cup final win Brentnall gained State selection for the first time, aged just 14.
Brentnall’s first experience of international football came on the State teams' historic 1977 visit to Malaysia. In September 1978 she helped Western Australia win the national championship, and a month later was one of seven Perth girls called up by Australia for the World Women's Invitational Tournament in Taiwan. Brentnall's starring roles against teams from Austria, the United States of America, Sweden, Denmark and Thailand led to her being voted the tenth best female player in the world.
Brentnall was in the starting line-up when the Australian women's team stepped into the 'A' international arena in October 1979. She wrote herself into Australian football folklore by scoring the Matildas first goal in a 2-2 draw with New Zealand. In May 1980 she gained selection for the return series in New Zealand and, having scored in the opening two games, put away the Matilda's first ever hat-trick in a 3-2 win.
In October 1981 Brentnall toured New Zealand with the national team, coming off the bench to score the opening goal in a 2-1 defeat of the Kiwis. She was selected to tour Hawaii in March 1983 but was unable to raise sufficient funds to make the trip. Brentnall's final appearances in the green and gold were against New Zealand, New Caledonia and Fiji at the 1983 Oceania Cup.
At club level Brentnall collected six league Fairest and Best trophies through spells with Girrawheen, Olympic Kingsway, Kiev, Ashfield, Gosnells City, Beeliar and Leeming Strikers. These were augmented by 17 club Player of the Year and nine top goal scorer awards. Amongst the highlights of her fifteen years with the State team is a Player of the Tournament trophy from the 1981 national championship.
Brentnall's achievements on the football field were recognised in 1996 with entry into the Hall of Champions category of the Football Hall of Fame, Western Australia. Four years later she as presented an Australian Sport Medal by the Australian Government.
|11.10.1978||Austria Select (Taipei City)||1-0 (won)||'B' game||Started|
|13.10.1978||United States of America Select (Taipei City)||1-1 (draw)||'B' game||Started|
|15.10.1978||Sweden Select (Taipei City)||0-1 (loss)||'B' game||Started|
|??.10.1978||Denmark Select (Taipei City)||0-0 (draw)||'B' game||Started|
|??.10.1978||Thailand Select (Taipei City)||5-0 (won)||'B' game||Started|
|06.10.1979||New Zealand (Sydney)||2-2 (draw)||Friendly||Started; scored one goal|
|08.10.1979||New Zealand (Sydney)||0-2 (loss)||Friendly||Started|
|13.10.1979||New Zealand (Brisbane)||1-0 (won)||Friendly||Sub on|
|18.05.1980||New Zealand (Auckland)||3-3 (draw)||Friendly||Started; scored one goal|
|21.05.1980||New Zealand (Wellington)||1-1 (draw)||Friendly||Started; scored one goal|
|24.05.1980||New Zealand (Christchurch)||3-2 (won)||Friendly||Started; scored three goals|
|01.10.1981||Canterbury (Christchurch)||2-0 (won)||'B' game||Started|
|02.10.1981||Otago (Dunedin)||6-0 (won)||'B' game||Started|
|03.10.1981||Waikato (Hamilton)||1-0 (won)||'B' game||Started|
|05.10.1981||New Zealand (Auckland)||2-1 (won)||Friendly||Sub on; scored one goal|
|28.11.1983||New Zealand (Noumea)||0-0 (draw)||Oceania Cup||Full game|
|30.11.1983||New Caledonia (Noumea)||5-0 (won)||Oceania Cup||Full game|
|02.12.1983||Fiji (Noumea)||13-0 (won)||Oceania Cup||Full game|
|04.12.1983||New Zealand (Noumea)||2-3 (loss)||Oceania Cup||Full game; scored one goal|
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This page was last updated on the 1st July, 2011