Home » Lions FC: The benchmark in women’s football 

Lions FC: The benchmark in women’s football 

Guy Hazlewood    April 26, 2024    5 min read   

Lions Football Club has been one of the most successful community football clubs in Queensland over the past five years, with a total commitment to offering equal resources to their Women’s and Men’s football programs.

The Lions FC Women have set the benchmark in women’s football winning three National Premier League (NPL) Premierships, three NPL Championships, and three Kappa Women’s Super Cup titles. 

They then made history in 2021 with two consecutive trebles and a profound 61-game unbeaten streak that spanned over three years.

Lions FC is committed to offering the same treatment and support to their women’s program as they do for their men’s.

 The Lions FC Women’s team. Source: The Lions FC

Tara O’Keeffe | Lions Midfielder

Tara O’Keefe. Source: The Lions FC

Tara O’Keefe is a remarkable member of the Lions Football Club and a pioneer in supporting women’s sports. 

Since joining the club in 2020, Tara O’Keeffe has embodied the core characteristics that set Lions FC apart. It’s no coincidence that Tara O’Keeffe was at the helm in midfield during the club’s most successful period.

A stalwart in the centre, Tara led by example as part of a cohesive unit that broke history with an incredible 61-match unbeaten streak.

Tara reflects on this monumental feature as her most memorable achievement with Lions FC.

Behind the decisive passing, persistent pressing, and intelligent ball retention is a work ethic and a team spirit that make Tara a leader in the dressing room. Inspired by her role model, Katrina Gorry, Tara relates to her not just through their shared height but also her hard-working mentality and willingness to throw her body on the line for her team.

“It is super important for young women to have role models in sports,” Tara said. 

“They are someone to look to in order to envision the type of player and person you would like to be.

“Playing football, there is never a moment where absolutely everything goes to plan –  you have to be able to deal with others making a mistake, and helping them fix that mistake without blaming anyone.”

With women’s football continuing to grow, Tara O’Keeffe and her teammates at Lions FC have been messengers in spreading awareness, support, and enthusiasm for women’s sports, even extending beyond football. 

Tara said that one of the key ways she and her teammates celebrate the achievements of women’s athletes is by watching as many women’s sports as possible.

“Obviously, our most preferred sport would be football, so we make a lot more time for that,” Tara said. 

“If we don’t have time to watch other women’s sports, I know that even just sharing the achievements of women’s sports on social media exposes so many other people to the amazing accomplishments in women’s sports.”

Amy Gunston | Lions Forward

Amy Gunston. Source: The Lions FC

Despite her young age of 22, Amy Gunston has seen it all throughout her time with Lions FC. Always the fastest player on the pitch, she has been an integral member of the team since first appearing for the Lions in 2018.

Amy has been a role model to girls eager to forge their path in women’s sports, especially those who love scoring goals!

“It’s a great game,” Amy said.

“And no matter what level you play at or age you start, it’s heaps of fun, and you get to be part of a team and a community.”

In another tribute to the adage that trophies don’t mean everything, Amy shares Tara’s sentiments. 

“Reflecting on my time at Lions FC, I cherish the memory of our unbeaten streak across three years,” she said. 

“Few are fortunate enough to experience such triumph at such a high level in their lifetime.”

Most importantly, Amy reflected on the strong lifelong friendships that you can form with your teammates, which, after all, is what football is all about.

Meaghan McElligott | Lions Forward 

Meaghan McElligott. Source: The Lions FC

Entering her second season with Lions FC, Meaghan McElligott has been a leader both in the dressing room and on the field since joining the club. 

Sharing Amy Gunston’s sentiments about the importance of giving football a go, Meaghan described the sport as the best thing for her to learn the traits of leadership, accountability, and work ethic.

“I think football was my outlet for many things”, Meaghan said. 

“I didn’t love school, and not many other things came naturally to me like playing football did.”

Meaghan said that growing up, she always looked up to the older girls and women playing football, a point that further highlights the importance of women’s role models in sports. 

Meaghan said that as the women’s game continues to grow, so must the commitment to encouraging young girls to participate in sports.

“I think promoting it in primary schools [is a great start]. At that age, many girls are trying new sports, so letting them come and try for themselves, maybe some of them will fall in love with it like I did,” Meaghan said.

“Just being supportive towards women in sport, making sure the focus isn’t always on boys playing football, allowing for girls-only teams and making modifications to that as well”.

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Guy Hazlewood