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AWARE Developing Tomorrows Soccer Stars August 2023

Developing Tomorrow's Soccer Stars

Nicole Calder is nurturing young women in soccer with a mindful and professional approach.

As dozens of professional players took to the field at the Women’s FIFA World Cup this July, so too did the bright young stars of tomorrow at Salisbury Inter Soccer Club.

They needn’t look to their TV screens for inspiration, however, as local star Nicole Calder is playing in the same uniform and heavily invested in building the club’s future.

The co-captain of Inter’s Women’s National Premier League Team has trained with Australia’s biggest female soccer stars, such as Sam Kerr, studied and played in the US on a soccer scholarship and guided both her own team and the club’s juniors to championships.

It isn’t all trophies and glory, however. Nicole has suffered season-ending injuries, surgeries and disappointment when she missed out on the Adelaide United squad leading her to “a really dark place emotionally.” While soccer had led her to a dark place, it was also soccer that led her out when she took a call out of the blue from a Salisbury Inter coach in 2018.

She said she was calling to make sure I wasn’t thinking about doing anything stupid like quitting. I laughed and cried and said that’s exactly what I was thinking. She said they would love to have me at Salisbury to help professionalise the environment. She saw other aspects of my personality and what I could do as a leader, valuing me as a person.

Nicole Calder

Nicole is Inter’s Under 17 coach and said it’s “relationships first, winning second,” a club approach that aligns well with her past psychology studies in the US and current public speaking on mental health.

I strongly believe that the better you play off the field – how you connect with your fellow players, coaches and parents – the better you play on the field. I really enjoy sharing my knowledge with the youth and teaching them things I wish I knew as a kid. It’s also incredibly rewarding to see the players develop, on and off the field, over the years. I think this is something really special at Inter, which focuses on developing its youth.

Nicole Calder

The club fields girls and women’s teams in all divisions, from Under 7s ‘Mini Roos’ to social teams and the National Premier League.

For more information about the Salisbury Inter Soccer Club’s women and girls teams, phone 0421 089 661 or email