Early start for Aussie Rules Women

This article has photo gallery Published on LTCOL Michael Harris (author)

Location(s): Darwin

Topic(s): Australian Rules Football

Surrounded by some of the nation’s best Australian Rules Football players, Leading Seaman Electronic Warfare Rhiannon Metcalfe felt in her best form before a pre-season trial match with the Adelaide Crows on 14 January in Darwin. (photo: AFC Media)
Surrounded by some of the nation’s best Australian Rules Football players, Leading Seaman Electronic Warfare Rhiannon Metcalfe felt in her best form before a pre-season trial match with the Adelaide Crows on 14 January in Darwin.

Surrounded by some of the nation’s best Australian Rules Football players, Leading Seaman Electronic Warfare Rhiannon Metcalfe felt in her best form before a pre-season trial match with the Adelaide Crows on 14 January in Darwin.

One of four Australian Defence Force members selected in the national women’s league draft, 25-year old Leading Seaman Metcalfe said it was a memorable moment running onto the field.

“Taking the field for the first time as a Crow was a surreal experience. We had plenty of time in the build up to the afternoon game for our individual preparations,” she said.

“It was difficult to contain the excitement, but we all had to remain focused on what we were there to do.”

In only her third season of Aussie Rules, Leading Seaman Metcalfe is expected to play Ruck for the Crows.

“Defence football is up there as some of the best experiences that I’ve had in my career, and it has taken off from there.

“The support I have received from Defence has been overwhelming. I have had people I’ve never met before saying ‘congratulations’ and how proud they were of me.

“There have also been the standout individuals who have been there to offer me advice and help from the moment they knew about the Women’s League. These people have made the journey easier to balance the Defence/football lifestyle,” Leading Seaman Metcalfe said.

The aspiration to become an elite-level player in the AFL should never be considered unachievable by Defence women she said.

“I never would have thought years ago that I would be recognised as a professional athlete or that it would be manageable to balance a full-time job and be an elite athlete.

“I believe being in Defence is one of the best careers to have to achieve the right balance.”

Leading Seaman Metcalfe has all her family flying in from interstate to watch her first game against the Greater Western Sydney Giants on 3 February.