Mannum’s Sonia Gegenhuber, soccer star with Matildas, goes into FFA Hall of Fame

International star: Sonia Gegenhuber, who grew up in Mannum and went on to captain the Matildas. Photo: Football Federation Australia.

International star: Sonia Gegenhuber, who grew up in Mannum and went on to captain the Matildas. Photo: Football Federation Australia.

Former Matildas captain and Mannum product Sonia Gegenhuber has been inducted into Football Federation Australia's hall of fame.

The defender grew up playing soccer with her three brothers at Mannum under the guidance of their father, Oskar Gegenhuber.

She first represented her country at the age of 18 in 1989, and went on to play 75 internationals over the next decade.

Sixty of those appearances were on the first team, which she captained in 1998-99.

She scored a goal in one of two qualifying matches she played for the 1991 Women's World Cup, and appeared in two matches at the 1995 event in Sweden.

Domestically, she played for Coalstars, Eastern Suburbs and the QAS Sting after moving from South Australia to Queensland.

She was named on the FFA's women's team of the decade for the 1990s.

In a statement, the FFA described her as an athletic defender and good communicator who was strong in the air and had the ability to overlap with the midfield by making incisive runs forward.

FFA chief executive officer David Gallop said her exploits were well known to all within the women's game, and that she had given back in many ways since her retirement from international sport.

She has since concentrated on coaching, teaching and remedial massage.

She joined the Matildas' coaching staff for a tour of China in 2007, and coached and managed the Queensland schoolgirls' soccer team from 2009-14.

She was inducted into the hall of fame alongside Socceroos midfielder Mark Bresciano and journalist Andrew Dettre.

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