Matildas soccer star Lisa De Vanna with her Hyundai Kona
Matildas soccer star Lisa De Vanna with her Hyundai Kona

Matildas striker Lisa De Vanna reveals motoring loves

AUSTRALIA'S top-scoring female soccer player Lisa De Vanna knows how to spot an opening.

The Matildas striker is, therefore, not happy when drivers deliberately close down avenues that she is committed to taking.

"What annoys me is when drivers won't let me in when the lane ends and you have to merge because there's literally nowhere to go," she says.

"I get that sometimes you make mistakes and don't see people but when you deliberately speed up …

"I'm not so bad with people who cut in front of me - you can usually tell those types so you're ready for them.

"I wouldn't say I'm an aggressive driver … but I do swear a bit when people are idiots and don't understand what they're doing can cause a lot of damage."

Luckily for De Vanna, her Hyundai i30 - and the Kona she's driving now - have adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist.

"The Kona is smooth to drive and it actually slows down for you. I really like the lane-keep assist, too. I took my hands off the wheel for a moment and it went around the corner for me."

First car: Toyota Corolla
First car: Toyota Corolla

The features didn't save De Vanna when she was rear-ended after having her i30 for just a week.

"Someone ran up my bum because I'd stopped for a red light and he ran through the yellow light before it and then couldn't slow down in time. It's not a pleasant experience."

De Vanna says driving these days is an enjoyable experience, but rates her early days on the road as nerve-wracking.

"I was really nervous driving when I started. It's pretty stressful when you're learning and no one gives you any room."

Family car: Ford Falcon
Family car: Ford Falcon

"I got lessons from a driving school but mum gave me a bit of experience too and that time behind the wheel is the most important thing, so she was great.

De Vanna's first wheels were a 1980s Toyota Corolla she bought for the grand sum of $1000, followed by a Mitsubishi Lancer that was not quite as decrepit.

"Mum used to own a Corolla so that's probably why I got one but the main family car was an '80s Ford Falcon when we were growing up.

"My sister and I were so naughty in that car. If were at a red light we'd start beeping the horn at other car … poor old mum thought they were beeping at her but it was us!"

Dream car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Dream car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

If money wasn't an issue - and as she wryly notes, while she's made a living from her passion, professional sportswomen aren't paid close to their male counterparts - she'd own a Mercedes sedan.

"The C-Class looks pretty special and I like the luxury look of it. I've been in one but never driven it but something like that or a BMW is probably what I'd have."