It's not every day you walk into a pub in an Australian country town and meet a World Cup winner - but that's just what is on offer with the inaugural Football Writers' Festial to be held at Jamberoo on 23-24 March, with former US Women's National Team goalkeeper, Hope Solo, the special guest.

She will join the new Chairman of Football Federation Australia (FFA), Chris Nikou, at the Festival, along with award-winning German investigative journalist and author Jens Weinreich, former Socceroo and SBS-TV analyst Craig Foster, as well as a range of other writers, journalists and authors from around Australia including speakers from all mainstream newspaper publications including The AustralianThe Age and the News Corp tabloids.  

Solo is a World Cup champion, two-time Olympic Games gold medal winner, and winner of the 2011 and 2015 FIFA World Cup Golden Glove awards, who has been a vocal and leading activist on issues associated with gender equity in sport, access to sport and broadening participation particularly for children from lower socio-economic groups, and corruption within football. More recently, Solo was a candidate in the 2018 US Soccer Presidential election. 

She is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world, with more caps, more wins, more clean sheets and more starts than any other goalkeeper in US history.  

In 2015, she achieved her lifelong dream as a player, when the US Women’s National Team won its first World Cup title since 1999.  

Solo is fom the regional city of Richland in Washington state, and played for the United States in every single age group. As she climbed the ranks, she learned the challenges of being an economically disadvantaged player in the elite youth system, relying on the generosity of friends, family and her home state to fuel her aspirations. 

Following a college career at the University of Washington, Solo played in every iteration of women’s professional soccer in America most recently for Seattle Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Solo holds the single-season and career record for most goalkeeper wins at 26 and 153, respectively. She also boasts the most career clean sheets (shutouts) at 102, as well as the longest undefeated streak by a goalkeeper at 55 consecutive matches, spanning from 2002-2008. She made 202 appearances (192 starts) with the US women’s national team between 2000 and 2016.

It is her first visit to Australia, and she plans to visit Melbourne and Sydney, as well as Jamberoo, meeting with the PFA in Melbourne.

The Football Writers' Festival is open to anyone to attend and will be held at the home of the Johnny Warren Museum, the Jamberoo Pub south of Sydney, over the weekend of 23-24 March. It will include keynote conversations, and panel discussions, as well as downtime activities such as a football match and dinner and trivia night, with FOX Sports' Murray Shaw the Trivia Master. 

The entry fee is $10 for one day or $15 for two days.

To find out more, including how to register, visit www.footballwritersfestival.com.au, follow them on Twitter @fballwritersAU, Facebook @footballwritersfestival or Instagram @footballwritersfestival. 

The Jamberoo Pub was built in 1857

Categories: News | Women | Football Life

football writers' festival, hope solo, chris nikou, jens weinreich, craig foster, jamberoo, jamberoo pub

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