In this this installment of Humans of MUSC we talk to a 6 year veteran of the club Hana ‘Midge’ Dalton. From politics, quirky pre-match rituals and a couple of first touch goals this article has it all!
Can you introduce yourself please
I’m Hana, also known as Midge (on account of my height). It’s not the best nickname but it seems to have stuck! I grew up in a faraway land known as “south of the river” in Melbourne, and came to MUSC as a second year student at the University of Melbourne. I’ve since completed a Bachelor or Arts (Hons) in Politics and a Diploma in Languages, and am currently juggling a Masters of Social Policy while working in government.
Why did you choose to play at the Melbourne University Soccer Club?
I was introduced to the club through the Uni Nationals team in my first year of uni. I was drawn to the social and inclusive culture that MUSC offered, as that was something that I had never quite been able to find in any of the senior teams I’d previously played for. The following year I headed straight down to MUSC preseason training!
What do you feel are the main benefits of playing at MUSC?
I think MUSC offers a unique culture. As a university club, it’s naturally social and progressive, and there is something for everyone, regardless of skill level or experience. It’s also a really positive, supportive and encouraging environment, and one that’s enabled me to thrive. It’s great being part of a club with such a diverse membership, and getting to know people with different backgrounds, nationalities, careers and areas of study.
Was there been a favourite season at MUSC, if so why?
Every season has had its moments, but 2015 was a highlight. Personally I felt that I improved a lot, and was part of a seniors team that was united and played great football. We finished runners up that season after a devastating final round loss, but bounced back to win the grand final a few weeks later. I was also pretty happy to be part of the seniors and reserves championships in 2017 and 2018 respectively. I’ve been fortunate to have been in some great squads!
What about your current involvement in the soccer club?
I was on the Women’s Committee for a couple of years and have captained teams in the past, but I’m unfortunately a bit less involved than I used to be now that I’m working full time and also studying. I try to help out on game day where I can though – volunteers make the club go round
Has there been a standout coach at MUSC? (and) the best player you have played alongside at MUSC?
Our current State 1 coach Adam Grinholz has been instrumental in my development as a player. I used to play central midfield as a junior and loved it, but started playing elsewhere because I didn’t think I was good enough. However Adam must’ve seen something in me, and taught me how to play my preferred position in a structured and thoughtful way. I’ll always be grateful for that.
I’ve played alongside so many great players, so this is difficult! Loz Thompson and Keryn Walters are two (of many) exceptional forwards, and all of their running and hard work make my passes look good! Nic Vincent has also been great to play alongside over the years – I’m always trying to replicate her techniques
How do you prepare for a match on gameday/do you have any quirky pre-match rituals?
I used to. Over the years they included lucky underwear, consuming a combination of Red Bull and Powerade before every game, and choosing not to ride my bike to matches because I thought it correlated with bad performances. Somewhere along the line I stopped worrying about getting the routine “right” as it was probably causing unnecessary stress. For me it’s better not to overthink things!
Besides sports, do you have any other hobbies or passions?
I love to travel and spend time outdoors. I also quite enjoy nerding out over politics and appreciating other people’s dogs.
What has been your most memorable goal at your time at MUSC?
I don’t get up forward much, but last season I scored in my 100th game (first touch, bottom corner). Unfortunately the team we played that day subsequently withdrew from the competition, so all records of that game and goal were erased. However a few weeks later I made up for it with another first-touch goal that sailed into the top corner from outside the box.
Have you been a part of the Uni Nationals team? Please describe the highlight. Would you recommend it to potential students?
Yes, I played in the Uni Nationals team in 2012, 2014 and 2015. The highlights for me were spending quality time with my teammates (especially in 2012), many of whom I remain good friends with today and have even travelled overseas with. Uni nationals is an intense experience, but it really brought me out of my shell in first year uni, so I’m very glad I took the opportunity.
Thanks so much for sharing Hana, and all the best for the rest of the season!