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“Ava Briedis has an X factor in the way she plays football, she is a match-winner and a footballer who can change the game at any moment.”


Football is really hard and if it were easy everybody would do it. It’s not always the talented ones who make it, it’s the ones who have the mental stamina.

You get knocked back, you don’t get selected, you get dropped, you’re on the bench, and you’ve got to have that mental stamina to keep going through those tough days and build resilience.

There are a lot of players who don’t have it in them to get through that stage. They’ll quit when it gets too hard. The romanticised version they envisioned of being a professional footballer isn’t quite the fairytale they thought it would be. They don’t know if their story in football has a happy ending because they stop before it gets to the end.

You get the feeling however with Australian, Ava Briedis that nothing would or will stop her from getting where she wants to go. She’s just made from different stuff. Resilience? She has it in abundance.

Ava Briedis
Image: Gold Leaf Creative

At the age of just 18, she is at the very beginning of her adventure and journey as a pro footballer with Melbourne Victory, but you’d never guess it. Beyond her obvious talent, Ava is an incredibly humble, down-to-earth, and pragmatic individual, who speaks with the awareness and maturity of a seasoned veteran.

A graduate of Melbourne Victory’s Elite Girls Programme, Ava made her debut in the 2022/23 campaign going on to make 11 appearances that season, and this year marked her second as a professional footballer.

“I had always dreamt of being in the A-League,’ explains Ava. “When you eventually make it to this level, it’s a great feeling. But once you’re in and around it, it’s like right I need to push on now and achieve the next goal.

Ava Briedis playing football
Image: Gold Leaf Creative


A highly tenacious midfielder, Ava is not only blessed with ability but an unyielding work ethic, and throughout our time together, it’s incredible to notice just how self-aware she is and how much emphasis she puts on the importance of hard work.

“It’s a bit of a cliche, but I’ve always admired Cristiano Ronaldo. I would sit for hours watching highlights of him on YouTube, and I had so many books on him that I would read from cover to cover. I think it’s his attitude and work ethic that I’ve always admired and his desire to improve.

“I think that everything he has achieved has been built through hard work, instead of just skill and luck. He’s succeeded in building his own thing.”

Managers such as Jurgen Klopp talk about how important mentality is in the modern game. Well, it seems that Melbourne has unearthed their very own mentality monster.

Ava Briedis playing football


Dean Georgio, Founder of Kick Talent Management, an agency dedicated to unearthing and developing footballers first came across Ava’s ability 6 years ago.

“I was coaching at a National Futsal tournament and during a break I went to watch a few other games and I stopped by a U13 Girls game that was taking place and that’s when I first noticed Ava.

“She was on another level with her skill and ball control and was showing ability beyond her years. From that moment I kept in touch with the family and Ava and offered advice on her footballing journey and it was when she turned 16 that I became more active in managing Ava officially.

“Ava has an X factor in the way she plays football, she is a match-winner and a footballer who can change the game at any moment. I still believe she doesn’t realise her full potential but this will unfold in time.

Ava Briedis dressed in sports gear kicking a football
Image: Gold Leaf Creative

“Ava Briedis has the capacity to win games on her own as she has an unorthodox approach to football and sees the game differently from others.

“Ava is also a very physical player and ultra-competitive, and a complete contradiction in terms as on the pitch she is so focused and physical and ultra-competitive and off the pitch she is the nicest person you can ever meet. She is so humble and contrite so it’s vexing to me how she can alternate between these two modes of being.

“Ava can go all the way there is no doubt about that, she is not your typical player. I always say she is a footballer of the future.

“Her character which consists of honesty and humility that is coupled with extreme ownership is very rare to find in young players these days where they usually look for others to blame.”

Ava Briedis smiling
Image: Gold Leaf Creative

“Ava takes up her cross and carries it and is willing to sacrifice and take responsibility in all aspects of her football and I hope she becomes a beacon for younger players in the future. I am so proud of her and privileged to be working with such a unique individual.”

Ava Briedis holding a football and wearing sports gear
Image: Gold Leaf Creative

Women’s football in Australia is currently riding the crest of a wave, after the success of the 2023 World Cup which they co-hosted with neighbours New Zealand, where they were agonisingly defeated in the semi-finals by England.

The nation fell head over heels in love with the Matildas and attendance in the A-League is up and continuing to rise and the national team now plays host to sell out stadiums.

Ava has already made her debut for the young Matildas and has aspirations to one day make her full international debut for the senior team. But thoughts of one day representing her country on the big stage are not something she’d ever allow herself to be distracted by.

“Just now it’s all about pushing on from day to day, and doing everything right and trying to work towards that.

“It’s definitely a bigger goal, but to make that happen I need to keep on working on myself and what I need to do to become a better footballer.”

Make no mistake about it, Ava Briedis will one day play for the Matildas, and it was a pleasure to sit down with the future of Australian football, as she spoke about her journey so far.

Ava Briedis in sports gear holding a football
Image: Gold Leaf Creative


I started playing football when I was, maybe seven or eight. I was playing with the boys at school, and I loved it. I really loved it.

I nagged my mum to sign me up for a club, and even though my siblings played AFL all the time, she was insistent that it was too dangerous.

Anyway, I nagged away and eventually, I wore her down and she relented and signed me up to a boys holiday camp, and there were actually no girls allowed, but they decided to let me do it.

I ended up playing in this all-boys club, and I was the only girl. I think that’s when my love for the game really started to grow.

Ava Briedis wearing sports gear and kicking a football
Image: Gold Leaf Creative

I felt passionate about it and I just wanted to play and win and I think that’s where my competitive edge comes from.

I know that the coaches were reluctant to let a girl play, but my mum persuaded them to give me a go and said if she’s no good you can take her off. But they never did.

My family is really sporty, but I think I’m the first one who’s played real football. I’ve been brought up around AFL.

My great Uncle Arnold played for North Melbourne and as I said my siblings have played it, but it has always been football for me. I think I just wanted to do my own thing and follow my own path.

Ava Briedis holding a football
Image: Gold Leaf Creative


I think signing your first professional contract is a big deal to anyone, especially someone who has grown up in love with the game.

It’s something that I’ve always wanted and dreamed of and it all seemed to happen so quickly and everything seemed to skyrocket after that.

In the space of six months, I had signed for Kick Talent Management, Melbourne Victory, and was playing for the young Matildas and then signed a sponsorship deal with New Balance. it all happened so quickly.

a woman playing football
Image: Gold Leaf Creative

When I made my debut for Melbourne Victory, it didn’t feel real. I was really nervous, but I backed myself and I have so many good people behind me who have always backed me as well and that gives you confidence.

I remember playing in preseason games, and I played okay and had some good games and positive feedback.

I don’t remember having a specific conversation with the manager, but I’m sure he told me to get ready for making my debut soon.

When I did make my debut it didn’t feel real, but I felt ready for it and I knew what I had to do.

a woman playing football
Image: Gold Leaf Creative


It’s a big thing to be part of your national team. It’s something that most kids who grow up playing football would dream of.

Being in and around the young Matildas is an environment I love. You get to understand what it takes for you to really push on and what it takes to make it to the next level.

Ava Briedis playing football for Australia's national team the Matilda's

Representing the full national team is one of my goals, but nothing is ever guaranteed. I think a lot of time you make your own luck through hard work and focusing on the now. And if you do that, then things can start to happen and then you never know what is possible.

If you are consistently playing great football, then that’s when things can really change and happen for you.

Just now though, it’s all about pushing on from day to day, and doing everything right each day, and trying to work towards that.

It’s definitely a bigger goal, but to make that happen I just need to keep on working on myself and what I need to do to become a better footballer overall.

Ava Briedis putting up the hood of her sports gear clothing
Image: Gold Leaf Creative


I’m proud of how far the game has come in Australia. I remember going to A-League games when I first got into football and there weren’t that many people at the games at all.

Over time it’s gotten bigger and bigger and I remember once going to the Grand Final and getting pictures with the likes of Alex Chidiac and Steph Cately and thinking this is crazy.

It’s funny now because Alex is a teammate and it’s such a weird concept that I used to watch her as a fan and I’m now playing with her and passing to her.

It’s a weird but great feeling. I’ve actually shown her that picture as well.

A lot of the girls who are now my teammates I’d watch as a fan. So it’s an incredible feeling to be able to call them teammates now. It’s really difficult to describe just what it means. It’s almost surreal.

Ava Briedis playing football
Image: Gold Leaf Creative

It’s funny looking back from those days when I would first go to watch games and comparing it to now, you can see how far it’s come.

It has continued to grow. It really has. I think if more people put even more trust in the women’s game it could go even further.

I also think when people come to watch one of our games they realise how good it is and how high the quality is. I think it surprises a lot of people.

I’m not sure many people would have watched the World Cup in previous years, but with it being hosted in Australia, it was great, and it really shone a light on the game here.

It has grown so much because of that. When you go to watch the Matildas now the stadiums are packed out, which is such a good thing.

Ava Briedis smiling
Image: Gold Leaf Creative


I think looking forward I would really love to win some silverware with Melbourne Victory and play my part in that. That would be a great feeling to be in and around.

With the season finished I’m going to play some NPL and in the offseason there are some personal goals I want to work on so that I’m ready to go for next season.

I think that everybody’s journey in football is different and is shaped by their own individual experiences along the way. I think any endeavour is shaped by personal experiences.

Ava bridis in sports gear holding a football and looking happy
Image: Gold Leaf Creative

I think in my case with my journey and career, as I said earlier things unfolded for me rapidly. So there was a sense of romance in that early on, from the excitement of my first training session with the team, and earning the recognition you’ve worked so hard for.

I’d say though that the romance of being a pro stops when you have setbacks. You realise that it’s not always going to be great and that things will happen that make things difficult. But that to me is all part of the journey and adventure.

I think a lot of girls, and footballers in general, question themselves when things go wrong, or don’t happen the way they imagined, and that’s when they begin to doubt themselves and sometimes quit.

Ava Briedis in sports gear laughing
Image: Gold Leaf Creative

I think to get past those difficult moments you have to be so mentally strong. Mental resilience is so crucial. I believe that every setback serves a purpose.

I’m a big believer that everything works out how it’s supposed to work out. If you’re dropped week in or week out, it’s meant to happen. You can’t change that decision when it’s been made.

Ava Briedis in sports gear holdig a football
Image: Gold Leaf Creative

It’s tough when things don’t go your way. There isn’t much you can do about that, other than keep working as hard as possible, and work on yourself and keep on showing up and show why you’re there and why you deserve to be there.

It does get hard sometimes, and it’s not always romantic. When everything goes right then it’s romantic, but it can’t always be that way.

I think keeping level-headed is one of the main things to do. If you keep things at a surface level of not getting too high when things are going well and not getting too low when the negatives are happening. I think maintaining that balance is so important.

All of our thanks to Ava Briedis

Thanks to Dean Georgio of Kick Talent Management and Gold Leaf Creative.

Thanks to New Balance and Mitre Australia.

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