Football Ferns striker Rosie White is a sharp shooter in more ways than one with her sight for goal being matched off the pitch by her keen eye for a photo.
As a fulltime professional player with the Boston Breakers in the top women’s league in the United States, White’s life is dominated by football and she relishes the escapism provided by her passion for the arts.
“I love being able to play football as a job but I tend to keep myself busy away from the field because I like to have a bit of balance in what I’m doing,” she says. “I’ve always used creativity as an outlet to keep me sane and photography was something I figured would be travelable so I did some courses on that online last year.”
White’s burgeoning skills with a camera have already been put to good use with a series of projects and she has even taken the opportunity to bring her two passions together. A number of Football Ferns featured in ‘The Women Behind; The Beautiful Game’, a collection of 25 personal, behind-the-scenes portraits of professional female footballers which White produced as part of her photography studies.
“I really loved doing it and I actually did another project similar to that with some of my Boston Breakers team mates that a magazine is going to publish this month,” she says.
“It’s really fun to be able to combine those two worlds. I think there’s loads of other leads that I can use to be creative through football and It’s really fun to see a different side to people’s personalities. People say they hate having their photos taken but then they actually love it.”
Despite first appearing for the Football Ferns in 2009, White is still only 24 and therefore some years away from contemplating hanging up her boots. But, when that day does finally arrive, a career as a professional photographer may well be on the cards.
“I’ve got little bits and bobs happening along the way to hopefully lead me into something else when I eventually step away from football. But it’s something I can coincide with what I’m doing at the moment and keep me open to new ideas, it’s fun.”
Although she enjoys having such interests away from the game, White is still very much focused on her football once she crosses the white line and will need every bit of that concentration this month as the Football Ferns take on the USA in a two-match series.
Members of the Ferns squad have been jetting into Denver from around the world over the last couple of days and coach Tony Readings now has a full complement to work with as he builds towards the first game on Saturday (NZT). Several exciting young players have been included – namely Anna Leat, Martine Puketapu, Malia Steinmetz and Liz Anton – while the uncapped Katie Rood and Olivia Chance, who last played for the Ferns six years ago, both also received a call up.
White says the introduction of the newcomers has had a re-energising effect on those around them.
“There’s a lot of fresh faces and a new energy around it all which is exciting. And obviously playing against the best team in the world is a big challenge. It’s a good chance for us to see where we’re at and build on a lot of things.”
— RawStoriesByRosie (@rawstoriesrosie) July 24, 2017
With nearly 90 caps to her name, White is now one of the most experienced players in the squad and will be expected to embrace the responsibilities that entails.
“I’ve been around the team for a long time so I feel like I’m starting to take on more of a leadership role,” she says.
“There’s a lot of us who have been around for ten or so years so it’s more just about re-establishing our values as a team and making sure everyone is on the same page – that will probably be one of the main challenges.”
Football Ferns striker Rosie White on her dual passions of football and photography
Football Ferns Tour of USA
USA vs Football Ferns
Saturday 16 September, 2pm (NZT)
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
USA vs Football Ferns
Wednesday 20 September, 12pm (NZT)
New Zealand: 1. Erin Nayler (GK), 2. Ria Percival, 3. Anna Green, 4. CJ Bott, 5. Meikayla Moore, 6. Rebekah Stott, 7. Ali Riley, 8. Daisy Cleverley, 10. Annalie Longo, 11. Kirsty Yallop, 12. Betsy Hassett, 13. Rosie White, 14. Katie Bowen, 15. Martine Puketapu, 16. Olivia Chance, 17. Hannah Wilkinson, 18. Aimee Phillips, 20. Malia Steinmetz, 21. Anna Leat (GK), 22. Katie Rood, 23. Victoria Esson (GK), 25. Liz Anton, 26. Jane Barnett
Coach: Tony Readings