What’s a girl to do growing up in the country? Play, that’s what. In the backyard with her brother, at school and in all in the sports on offer in her local country town.
This background of play is the foundation of Joey Peters the athlete, the facilitator and the person.
While Joey’s competitive streak was honed through these casual sporting contexts, she soon specialised in football and showed her talent and skill early on, playing for the Australian women’s football team the Matildas aged 17.
Joey became a legend of the Australian game with her dynamic creative play, with an international career spanning 13 years, covering 110 games for Australia including 3 FIFA World Cups and the Athens Olympic Games.
She was known for creating numerous scoring opportunities for her teams and scoring a countless number of her own, including 28 for the Matildas.
Besides playing professionally in Australia, she also plied her trade in Sweden, in the US and was a pioneer in the Brazil women’s league, enjoying diverse experiences in these competitions.
After retiring from playing professional football in 2009, Joey continued her passion for sport in the coaching space with experience from grassroots to professional learning environments. She attained C, B and A Advanced Coaching licences through FIFA, Asia (AFC) and Australian (FFA) Football Federations.
However, throughout her professional career she felt a sense of unease with many of the coaching approaches she encountered, which were often win-at-all-costs, dogmatic, not player-centred and lacked a creative problem-solving approach.
Joey’s journey of awareness led her to immersing herself in learning about alternative methods of instruction and engagement, and it was in 2013 during a collaboration of coaches that GPL first began to take shape.
With these coaches, Mark O'Sullivan, Brad Porter, Andre Gumprecht and Matthew O'Neil, Joey grew the GPL coaching philosophy based on Self-Determination Theory (SDT), Constraints-Led Approaches (CLA), and Ecological Dynamics (ED).
As a philosophy, GAME PLAY LEARN hides Learning in FUN and provides dynamic, motivating learning environments to Inspire and Nurture Passion and Potential for each individual.
Joey now runs GPL from the GPL Hub in Newcastle, Australia and advocates internationally for a facilitation of play in learning.
She is also a sought-after commentator on football affairs and in 2020 was been selected as part of the Starting XI, a panel of acclaimed Australian footballers set up by the Football Federation Australia to deliberate on the future of football in Australia.