In this exciting Humans of MUSC we talk to the “Winger Winger Chicken Dinner” of the State 3 North team Nez Özergen. Between dog spotting in her free time, spearheading the MUSC social media team and “un peu Français” this installment has it all!
Can you introduce yourself please
I could just say my name’s is Nez, but that would be far too simple. I was not blessed enough to be called something so short and sweet. The reality is, I was gifted with a full blown 110% ethnic name – Neslihan (Nes-luh-hun). But anyway, I was born and bred in the heart of Brunswick (a true northsider), am currently in my final year of B-Arts, double-majoring Politics and Criminology, at the University of Melbourne, and creeping closer to that point in your twenties where you need to start getting your life together.
Haha the old “start getting your life together stage”… know that far too well
Why did you choose to play at the Melbourne University Soccer Club?
I always wanted to play soccer growing up, but it never actually happened. So, when I started my undergrad degree in 2017, I thought, “Why not give it a crack?”
True Aussie spirit there, what do you feel are the main benefits of playing at MUSC?
As Dennis Denuto once said, “It’s the vibe and ah, no that’s it. It’s the vibe”.
Coming into a completely new environment, in a sport I hadn’t played before was initially a little nerve-wracking. However, those nerves were pretty short-lived. I quickly realised how welcoming and community-minded the Club is – it operates for the players, by the players. So, I think seeing and being a part of a collective that is constantly working together to try to make the Club a better place, on and off the pitch, for everyone, regardless of whether you are new or well-seasoned, is pretty damn amazing.
Has there been a favourite season at MUSC, if so why?
I’m only two seasons in and onto my third this year so it’s hard to say. The first season was a pretty good time in the VSL squad. I started off as a right back but later found my current home – the right wing. However, this might come as a shock to some, but I think last season, was overall the best season for me, on and off the pitch. Last season, I took one for the team and put my hand up to fill in as GK for a fair chunk of the season. Yes, I am still triggered, but no, I have no regrets (heart reacts only for State 3 North). That being said, I definitely did improve my play in the wing, and also made some pretty good mates.
What about your current involvement in the soccer club?
I joined the Committee at the end of last season because, as corny as it sounds, I care about the Club and want to help out wherever and whenever I can. I’m currently a part of the social media team and assist in managing the Club’s Facebook, Instagram and (occasionally) Twitter.
It does a sound a bit corny but I definitely understand, MUSC has that affect on people as it is such a community-minded club…
Has there been a standout coach at MUSC? (and) the best player you have played alongside at MUSC?
I’ve definitely got to give a big shout out to State 3 North Coach Adam Howard. He’s not only been an exceptional, positive, well-rounded coach but he got a crown tattooed onto his leg last year for the State 3 squad. I also have a lot of respect for the many coaches who also play for the Club.
In terms of the best player I’ve played alongside is a tough one given there are so many skilled players at the Club. However, I think it all goes back to the VSL days with Pema Tshering. She’s super skilled, really quick on her feet and a natural striker. She’s also super humble, so naturally, we only really found out that she represents Bhutan in the national squad, when she told us she was going back home for a bit.
Do you have any particularly memorable experiences relating to your sports/outdoor activities?
There was team last season, Watsonia Heights, who smashed us a whopping 8 -1 on their home ground. However, when they came to Princes Park later in the season, we knew we were the underdogs, but it was also one of our key player’s last match so we went in 110%. It was high intensity from the first whistle, but four mind-bendingly scored goals later, we had done it. I had never seen opponents so distraught.
How do you prepare for a match on gameday/do you have any quirky pre-match rituals?
I wouldn’t say it’s anything quirky or odd, but I *need* that blue mountain blast Powerade fix for the half-time mark.
Besides sports, do you have any other hobbies or passions?
I don’t quite know why, given that I lack coherence, but I’ve always been a keen bean when it comes to learning different languages. I can speak Turkish as well as Spanish, picked up un peu Français at Uni, and learned German all throughout high school (although I’ll admit I’m now pretty rusty at the last).
Also, is dog spotting a hobby?
Dog spotting?.. Of course! What has been your most memorable goal at your time at MUSC?
It was definitely my first goal for last season. It was against Brunswick Zebras and we were already one goal up. I had possession down the right flank with absolutely no pressure. However, I’m a pretty uncoordinated kind of a gal and tripped myself over the ball and went flying, landing right in front of the Zebras bench. A few minutes later, after repairing my bruised ego, I regained possession, went to hit the ball for a cross which ended up being “off-target” and bounced right past the keeper into the back of the net. I thought I was dreamin’.
Haha keep those “crosses” coming… Thanks for sharing your worldly insights Nez and best of luck for the rest of the season!