Why do you love the sport?
Growing up in a country town, the football club was the heart of our community and where a lot of my fondest childhood memories happened. I love the physicality of the game, of how tough and challenging it is. That makes playing more rewarding when you get through and achieve success. There aren’t many sports where you get to share it with 22 of your best mates either.
How did you start playing?
I was just a really active kid and very competitive. My older brother, Harry, played football and a lot of my childhood was dedicated to trying to be better than him at whatever he did! I was the only girl at Auskick initially and then when I got old enough I started training with my brother and eventually I started playing in the team. Again, I was the only girl at that stage and played with the boys for around five years. I look back on it now and realise I was different – there were a lot of barriers to playing but at the time I was so immune to them, which I’m grateful for.
The AFL Women’s catchphrase is ‘See what we create’ – what sort of league do you want to see?
One that’s sustainable and allows young girls out there to look and think they’ve got lots of options if they want to play sport at the elite level. Moving forward, the athleticism of players will only get better with increased professionalism and as we get more and more opportunities to develop. It’s really exciting to think about where the game might be in a couple of years.
You’ve teamed up with Cotton On. What do you love about the brand?
It’s an Australian brand I’ve worn for a long time. I’m one of those people who’ll go to the gym then wear my clothes all day long, so it’s really good having high-performance active wear I can do that with!
Tell us about your favourite pieces from the COAR range.
I like a lot of their tanks and muscle tees. It’s that relaxed fit. And the cool floral print tights – I can get a bit stuck on blue, grey and white, so it’s nice to mix it up.
Cotton On also created uniforms for the AFL Women’s league. How involved were you?
They had us involved from the very first step of the design process and we probably caught up five or six times. The uniform is great – it fits the female body shape really well and is easy to wear. It feels so light compared to the normal rigid kind of footy-jumper material. And the off-field apparel is a bit different, more modern and edgy. I like that it didn’t just follow the path of tradition and what the boys do – we’re creating our own style.
What would you say to a woman thinking of getting involved in AFL?
I’d encourage anyone who likes the game, wants to get physically active or even just wants to get out and socialise, to try football. I’ve made some of my life-long friends. The beauty of football is that you can play because you just want to get fit and have fun, but there’s also a pathway to being a professional.
Coffee aside, how else do you spend your downtime?
I go to the beach, walk my dog in the park, anything outside. And any sporting event, I’ll be there!