Nelly Yoa: A Tale of Perseverance and Grit

Motivational to many around the world, the story of Australian Football Player Nelly Yoa is that of determination and inner-strength. Peaking as one of the strongest Australian soccer player, Nelly Yoa was forced to call quits on his career in 2011, after a horrific machete attack in Baybrook. His tale of recovery and rehabilitation has become an inspiration for many as the near paralytic attack did not stop him from returning to a successful sports career.

Born to a Sudanese family in El Rank, Sudan, Nelly Yoa moved to Australia with his family in 2003 seeking refuge. By 2011, Yoa had already established a strong Soccer career playing for Oakleigh Cannons Soccer Club among many others. Known for his agility, nimbleness, and brawns that a top-class striker should have, Yoa went ahead to mark his name in the Australian Sport. However, everything came to a standstill when Nelly Yoa was seriously injured by machetes, knives and golf clubs whilst an attack on his friend.

The injuries he suffered were horrific, slashed on the elbow, the wrist and several times on the knee, which resulted in 13 days in hospital, 170 stitches and several broken bones in 2011. During his recovery, Yoa displayed immense inner strength and held on to his dreams of professional sports career.

Sporting number 67 on jersey, Nelly Yoa has played for Rowville Football Club. He made his debut for Rowville on 3 June against Blackburn at Seebeck Oval. In the year 2017 playing for Rowville Football Club he scored 35 goals in 16 games.

Yoa later signed for Wolverton Town FC. After his contact ended at Wolverton Town FC, he signed a 6 months contract to play with Qormi Football Club in the Maltese Premier League.  He also trained in the Vietnamese Premier League with Hoàng Anh Gia Lai owned by Arsenal Football Club in the English Premier League but couldn’t secure a contract.

Today at the age of 31, Yoa has become a Youth Icon known for his motivational talks, his strength and his work with Afri Aus care. His story truly reminds one of unchallenged determination and perseverance that helped him escape his shocking predicament for a thriving career and role in the community. Encouraging as it is, Nelly Yoa’s hard work will surely become guidance to many budding footballers in Australia as well as other parts of the world.