Not content with stopping attackers and scoring goals, Sydney FC Westfield W-League duo Jasmyne Spencer and Samantha Johnson channelled their inner tourist as they visited Featherdale Wildlife Park on Monday.
Along with their chaperone, Sky Blues defender Teigen Allen, the girls ventured out to Doonside to meet some wild Australian native fauna.
Featherdale's Administration Manager, Lisa Christie, met the girls at the entrance to the park before taking them on a tour of various sections of the reserve.
From patting a sleepy wombat, marvelling at various tiny species of kangaroo and the imposing Cassowary, the girls got to see some of Australia's best known animals at close quarters.
A group photo with one of the park's resident koalas was a must. Maintaining the Aussie icon's attention was the biggest stumbling block for our players as eucalyptus leaves seemed a bigger attraction to the little bear at the time.
The girls wandered the park grounds, feeding and chatting to various park residents while plenty of photos were taken and Spencer also bought up big at the Souvenir Shop with mementos to take back Stateside at the end of the season.
“The park was so much fun,” Johnson said.
“I have never been up so close to animals, normal zoos don’t allow that sort of thing.
“My favourite part of the visit was seeing the new born koala, he was so small and cute.”
Spencer, who dreams of becoming a veterinarian after she finishes playing said the visit was great and she couldn’t go past feeding the kangaroos as her favourite moment.
“I absolutely loved my visit to Featherdale Wildlife Park,” Spencer said.
“All the workers were super nice and carefree and you could tell the animals were well looked after, not just put on display for entertainment like some wildlife parks tend to be.
“I actually received my bachelor’s degree in biology and plan on becoming a veterinarian once my playing days are through so any chance I get to interact with animals I get super excited,” she continued.
“Meeting the Australian animals up close has basically just completely fulfilled my Australian experience.
“I feel like kangaroos and koala "bears" are like the first thing that comes to mind when people back home ask me about life in Australia and now I can finally say “yes not only did I see some but I got to pet and feed them too”.”
Sydney FC’s Westfield W-League squad are next in action against Canberra United at McKellar Park on Sunday 9th November. Catch the match LIVE on ABC1 or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for match updates.
BECOME A W-LEAGUE MEMBER TODAY! – Sydney FC’s W-League squad would love your support again as they strive to regain the W-League Championship. See the girls play for just $75 or for the discounted price of $45 if you’re a current A-League Member.
To purchase, simply call 1300 4 SYD FC (79 332) or fill out and return application form.