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18 May, 2020 18:38

Poolside punching & kung fu kicks - Meet pro footballer & part-time fighter Danielle Schulmann (PHOTOS)

Poolside punching & kung fu kicks - Meet pro footballer & part-time fighter Danielle Schulmann (PHOTOS)

What do you get when you cross karate, football & bikinis? Israeli international footballer and kickboxing practitioner Danielle Schulmann has added a twist to her lockdown workouts by bringing the pitch and the pads poolside.

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Schulmann’s day job is as a star forward for Maccabi Kiryat Gat women’s team in Israel’s Ligat Nashim, but when she isn’t scoring goals on the pitch she’s combining her football and fighting skills by the pool.

Her sporting prowess is unique in that she can kick just as well on the pitch as on the pads. As well as being a hot shot up front, Schulmann is also a trained kickboxer and has been showing off her trickshots and combinations during lockdown - while getting wet for good measure.

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The 30-year-old’s Instagram page is dedicated to clips demonstrating her precise keepie-uppie and shooting skills with a touch of ninja-like kicks and combinations on the pads and bags, which she says is inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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Alongside clips of karate kicking footballs as she dives into the pool, Schulmann shows she’s equally adept on the focus mitts with dizzying double spinning kicks and blistering hand speed.

For that she has to thank her father, former internationally competitive karate practitioner Daniel ‘Tiger’ Schulmann who still teaches the martial art in New York City and whom she describes as her 'superhero'.

Born in New Jersey, USA, the younger Schulmann began her sporting career as a star striker in college for the UConn Huskies, the football team of the University of Connecticut, scoring an impressive 17 goals in 33 games.

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In 2016, she was drafted by her home state club Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), but only made three appearances for the club before moving to Israel.

Schulmann, who is Jewish, also has 6 caps for the Israel women’s national team, qualifying to play for the Blue and after becoming an Israeli citizen.

If she ever gets tired of having a kickabout, we're sure her kung fu kick can open up more doors in her sporting career.

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