News The Originals - Season 2 - Latest Episode - Harriet Cordner Ep 8

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TigermanM2

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 7, 2013
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The Originals podcast returns in 2021
Written and presented by award-winning journalist and author, Sam Lane, the opening episode of the second series of The Originals podcast features 2020 reflections and 2021 projections from Richmond AFLW captain Katie Brennan, Tigers president Peggy O’Neal and new coach Ryan Ferguson.
By Samantha Lane, richmondfc.com.au on Jan 30, 2021, 9:27am


The same culture and leadership expert who has been intimately involved in Richmond’s powerhouse men’s side guided a forensic review of the Tigers’ winless first AFL Women’s season.

Shane McCurry’s work with the AFLW outfit informed a 116-page document that has helped inform coaching - the Tigers have replaced inaugural AFLW head coach Tom Hunter and installed former men’s program development coach Ryan Ferguson for 2021 - and also recorded a strong sense of team connectedness.

AFLW program boss, Kate Sheahan, details some of the key findings of the review in the return episode of The Originals podcast.

The launch edition of the second series also features 2020 reflections and 2021 projections from AFLW captain Katie Brennan, Tigers president Peggy O’Neal and new coach Ferguson who played 47 games for Melbourne before cutting his teeth in South Australia in off-field mentoring while also completing teaching qualifications.

“We did a significant review of the entire department the players, staff ... with the help of Shane McCurry,” Sheahan says in the launch episode of The Originals second series.

“I think that was a very important exercise to go through - to allow the players to have their input, to allow the staff to have their input. And the great thing that came out of all of that was the level of care that was felt by everyone. Everyone knew that we’d set this up to genuinely care and look after our people.

“Maybe the results weren’t there. Maybe there was some change and some difficulties throughout the season - which every club experiences - but ultimately, deep down, [the sense from the feedback] it was [that] we’re here to insure the environment is one where you want to be and people feel loved and looked after.”

Asked about criticism documented in the surveying, Sheahan says: “the standards needed to improve. The training standards.

“It wasn’t that the players weren’t trying hard enough or not being professional, because they absolutely were. It [the feedback in the review] was more that ‘hey, we now know we can push them more. We now know their level of resilience and training abilities [so] that ... leading into next season ... we can run them a bit harder or put them in more combative situations and they’re not going to break.”

The broad-ranging internal review highlighted how the Tigers’ 2020 head AFLW coach Hunter required more mentoring.

“At the end of the day, after the review, we felt that Tom needed a lot more support around him and he needed probably a senior figure that could provide him with a bit of a shoulder to lean on and a bit of advice at times,” Sheahan says.

“And the situation was that we didn’t have the finances in the program to be able to put someone like that around Tom [full-time].

“So what we decided was we’re probably going to have to find someone who has got that level of experience.”

Tigers skipper Katie Brennan tells the podcast she has been particularly focused on enhancing cohesive culture in her team in the off-season.

“You can’t always expect the start of a journey to go completely smoothly,” Brennan tells the podcast.

“But I think we’re starting to develop a really great culture around the group and we’re starting to pull together a group of people that are really focused on heading in a similar direction. And that’s really what excites me about 2021.”
 
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TigermanM2

Norm Smith Medallist
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EPISODE 2 - RYAN FERGUSON


New coach Ferguson outlines key traits that he, and his team, hope will define them in their second AFLW season.

“We want to be a highly competitive, combative team,” he says in The Originals.

“We want to win. And every week I think we’re going to be at a level where we can aim to be highly competitive and there’s no reason why we aren’t aiming to win every game we play.”
 

TigermanM2

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Mar 7, 2013
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EPISODE 3 - SARAH HOSKING


In the third episode of the second series of The Originals podcast, Sarah Hosking shares the backstory to her crossroads moment to transfer to Richmond and is now convinced that her move was the right call.

Career and salary sacrifice, deep self-doubt and unprecedented awkwardness with her twin sister ultimately led to Sarah Hosking’s leap from comfort at Carlton into a great unknown at Tigerland.

Richmond’s coup off-season recruit has detailed how she cried for five hours after making a more-than-meets-the-eye decision that was in many ways illogical.

Hosking left a full-time off-field job at the Blues, a happy environment, a team in premiership contention and her best friend – sister Jess - to join Richmond.

The tenacious on-baller who has played every match possible since the first AFLW game in February 2017 has shared the backstory to her crossroads moment in the third episode of The Originals podcast.

Hosking tells of hard conversations she had with Blues coach Daniel Harford, Carlton CEO Cain Liddle, her former teammates, colleagues and her sister after deciding to move to Punt Road. She recalls that the initial response of mentor Liddle was: “what the hell are you thinking?”. Hosking also recalls that her identical twin “just gave me doughnuts” because “both of us probably were not dealing with our feelings as we should have”.

Until this year Sarah and Jess Hosking have never played any sport in opposing teams.

“I cried more than I ever had probably in my life,” Hosking says in the podcast.

“I had said no to Richmond. I had said ‘no, I’m staying at Carlton’.

“I’ll be completely honest. I was staying. That was my plan.”

The impetus for Hosking’s resignation from a full-time job at Carlton that was advancing her career and education off-field, and earning her a stable living, was more opportunity as a footballer playing with Richmond. Hosking played on a wing almost exclusively for the Blues over four years but she yearns for a permanent posting in the midfield.

She says her circumstances – and angst – are far from unique.

“I feel like as a person, and as an athlete, I’ve identified what it takes and it’s a hit to the salary,” Hosking says.

“But it’s a decision I’m having to make and especially make for AFL Women’s. And I want to do that to try to be the best athlete I can be.

“It’s a really challenging space because I think we’re starting to see more girls now choosing between their career pathway and football. And either trying to be an athlete or going down a pathway of education, study or wherever your career takes you.

“The challenges I found (doing both) is that you’re working eight, nine hours a day and then you’re trying to fit in an elite training program either side of that.

“So it’s either get up at five o’clock in the morning, train and train to the best of your ability - gym, running, whatever that was, work a full day and then at the end of the day you’ve either got a training session or a skills session with your team.

“Realistically your body just struggles to cope with it.

“And I think that’s the problem we face among multiple levels of sport – it’s not just women’s football, you’ve got the VFL programs and the tier-two programs where people are trying to crack being an athlete.”

From feeling genuinely uncertain Hosking is now convinced that her move was the right call. She is vice-captain at Richmond and thriving with newfound independence, despite footy feeling foreign without being flanked by her sister.

“Reflecting on it now it’s been the best decision for both of us,” Hosking says.

“Individually we’ve been able to stand on our own two feet."
 

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TigermanM2

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EPISODE 4 - ELLIE McKENZIE


In the fourth episode of the second series of The Originals podcast, Ellie McKenzie discusses the pathway and pressure to becoming the AFLW’s number one draft pick and the support received from family and teammates alike.


The AFLW’s number one draft pick and most prized young Richmond footballer, Ellie McKenzie, uses her brother’s roller coaster AFL experience as a motivator and reality check.

In the fourth episode of The Originals podcast the top 2020 draft pick who has arrived sensationally in her debut season has also recalled how her schoolgirl sporting dreams were crushed when she discovered that elite AFL pathways existed for men exclusively.

McKenzie, recently turned 18, says she was about 11 years old when her Mum broke the news that while her older sibling, Tom, was pursuing an elite AFL career there was no such opportunity for her.

McKenzie remembers how a photograph she saw in a newspaper led her to believe women could play for AFL clubs until her Mum explained the reality of the day.

“Mum kind of had to had to tell me: ‘look there’s not really a path for you. You can’t really play in the men’s league’... that was a bit disheartening and I didn’t really know what to do with myself from there,” McKenzie said.

“It was definitely a feeling of being crushed and all my dreams going out the window pretty much.”

The second woman ever to register for Fitzroy Football Club continued to play alongside boys her age because she loved the game so deeply, but while her team was steadfastly supportive McKenzie says some opponents inflicted particularly hard days on-field through highlighting her difference.

McKenzie says she harnessed her anger positively.

“Those little comments, I mean, they did hurt me a little bit,” the 176-midfielder-forward says.

“But I thought ‘I’m really enjoying playing footy, it’s probably my most favourite thing to do in the whole world’, so I thought I’d just keep going keep playing and my coaches were always really supportive of me, giving me game time and not really disadvantaging me because I was a girl.

“Maybe if my team had been really nasty to me it would have been a different story, but I’m really thankful that they supported me.

“I didn’t really feel different in my team so I think that really helped me keep playing.”

No one has been more supportive of McKenzie’s football pursuits than her mum Sue, dad Rob and her brother Tom – a North Melbourne rookie taken with pick 10 of the 2018 AFL Rookie draft but cut less than 12 months later. McKenzie was the Roos’ first pick of that year’s rookie draft.

“I’ve been able to pick his brain and ask how it was at North,” McKenzie says.

“It made me even more hungry to reach that goal for me, seeing him coming in and out of the house, from training and telling us about his day really drove me to try to get to that position as well.

“People think once you get to AFL you’re there, and ... you’re there for 15 years and you have a big, long career and it’s great.

“But it’s not the reality and I guess we kind of got to experience the ruthlessness of the AFL system through Tom.”

After being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back, Tom McKenzie was delisted by North Melbourne after playing just one half of a VFL match. In his 11 months at the club he was scarcely able to train.

“Obviously he was pretty heartbroken,” his little sister says.

“He was pretty crushed, but having said that he’s bounced back really quickly and he’s even more motivated to get to that level again.

“He’s really fit now and he’s ready to go.”

Tom McKenzie, now 20, is set to play in the midfield for Coburg in the VFL this year.

“He hasn’t played footy for two years now so I think he just can’t wait to get on the field now, maybe prove some people wrong and also just have that experience again - have some fun playing footy,” the Tigers top AFLW draft pick says in The Originals.

“He’s been a great example of resilience for me.”

Ellie McKenzie also discusses in the podcast what became an overwhelming sense of pressure as she awaited national AFLW draft day on 6 October 2020, her deep admiration for Richmond captain, Katie Brennan, and vice-captain, Sarah Hosking. She looks to both - and retired Hawthorn champions Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell, footballers McKenzie idolised as a young Hawks’ supporter - as examples of the package she’d like to be.

McKenzie has played all three games for Richmond this season and has been outstanding in each.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous before a game,” she recalls of her AFLW debut in the Tigers’ 2021 season-opener and Richmond’s first match at Punt Road Oval for AFL/VFL premiership points in 56 years.

“It was a great experience; one I’ll never forget ... one of the best days of my life.”
 

TigermanM2

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EPISODE 5 - GABBY SEYMOUR


In the fifth episode of the second series of The Originals podcast, ex-national-level volleyballer and physiotherapist Gabby Seymour discusses her inspiring roundabout route to cracking the AFLW ranks and some of her on-field highlights.

The AFLW’s most celebrated mark, as celebrated by the marker herself, led to brief self-consciousness and a mobile meltdown, but has not curbed Tiger Gabby Seymour’s enthusiasm one bit.

Seymour re-visits the round three grab she nailed and delighted in, and her subsequent failed attempt to goal, in this week’s episode of The Originals podcast.
The ex-national-level volley baller and physiotherapist who played her first match of Aussie Rules less than two years ago but finished third in Richmond’s 2020 best-and-fairest, out-marked veteran Magpie Stacey Livingstone in her ninth AFLW match. Seymour had been set an unfamiliar task.

“I’ve never played up forward. I haven’t played that much footy!,” Seymour says on the fifth episode of The Originals.

“The coach kind of said” ‘Gab, we’re going to put you up forward at the start of the second quarter’, and I’m like ‘right, okay, no worries, I’ve just got to get a touch’. Then of course I’m lining up on Stacey Livingstone who’s a bit of a jet defender.

“I remember thinking: I think she’s mis-read this, I think this is going to come out the back a little bit and it just felt like I just put my arms up and the ball was in my hands!

“I was like: ‘oh my God, the ball! I don’t know what to do now!’

It definitely wasn’t meant to come out that way.

“I reckon about two seconds later I was like: ‘oh my God, Gab, you’re on television this is so not cool! But it’s a bit late for that now!’

“You know when you sort of say something out loud and then you’re like ‘oh, no, I’m speaking out loud’? It was kind like that but it was a reaction.

“There was no arrogance or anything like that behind it. It was just ‘I can’t believe I’ve got the footy, what do I do next?’”

By match’s end Seymour had about 40 messages on her phone.

Seymour’s joyful response to her mark has been watched more than 6500 times on Richmond’s AFLW Twitter account since. Freeze frames were also captured by legendary AFL photographer Wayne Ludbey.

Seymour’s roundabout route to cracking AFLW ranks is inspiring. She spotted a Richmond invitation to a talent identification day for the Tigers’ VFLW team at the end of 2018. Seymour presented at Punt Road Oval without footy boots but showed enough to get Richmond scouts interested.

“I just rocked up in my runners and I thought there would be a lot of girls who would be kind of like that,” she says in The Originals.

“But everyone else had boots and everyone else seemed like they were a lot better than I was.

“I think I was pretty terrible.”

Seymour has endeared herself to coaches and teammates with a voracious appetite for studying footy and genuine application.

She was promoted to Richmond’s inaugural AFLW list from a rookie’s position and made her top-level debut in the Tigers’ first AFLW match.
 
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TigermanM2

Norm Smith Medallist
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EPISODE 6 - REBECCA MILLER


In the sixth episode of the second series of The Originals podcast, Tiger original Bec Miller details her work-life balance, “a second family instantaneously" at Richmond, and not seeing her actual family in-person for over nine months.


From sleeping on a mate’s kitchen floor before her Punt Road recruitment to enjoying the Richmond’s first AFLW victory last week, Tiger original Bec Miller says she is “living the dream”.

But in detailing the juggle and struggle it takes to be self-sufficient, further professional pursuits and a footy career, the 25-year-old does not pretend it’s easy.
She also hopes AFLW footballers will earn a significantly better living within five years.

Tearful in this week’s episode of The Originals podcast, Miller reflects on last seeing her family in-person, nine months ago, and explains how she sacrificed Christmas plans for footy.

Her prioritising of AFLW, while counterintuitive financially has seen her drop to casual worker status through a boss Miller feels indebted to.

Miller is balancing her commitment to AFLW with working about 25 hours a week for All in One, a Melbourne labour hire company.

“I feel like I’m one of the very lucky ones,” she says.

Because while she has a hugely supportive employer it’s still a physical and logistical stretch.

“We’re expected to be full-time athletes on a part-time salary,” Miller says.

“You want to give all the time and devote yourself fully to it (AFLW). It’s just not possible when you’re not being able to get enough to live off, I guess.

“Wherever I can I will prioritise AFLW … maybe working less and being paid less, but … I do recognise this is such a short part of my life and I will look back on it one day and think ‘how did I do it?’

“To be full-time athletes would just be incredible. I hope it’s within the next five years or so. I think that’s realistic. I really do.”

Launching her Aussie Rules mission from Sydney, Miller has fond and vivid memories of her first trial at Punt Road Oval before she was picked for the Tigers’ 2019 VFL squad. She made the VFLW team of the year that season.

“I knew one person in Melbourne…and she was from high school in Wagga. I called and said ‘can I stay at your place?’ She said: ‘yep, no problem, no worries, we’re struggling for a bit of space though, you’re going to have to sleep on my kitchen floor’.

“So I literally slept on her kitchen floor for three nights on a dodgy mattress but I did not complain because I was there, I was in Melbourne and I was chasing my footy dream.

“She was kind enough, my friend, to drop me off for the first session on the Wednesday and … I remember getting onto the oval for training and thinking: ‘I could eat my dinner off this it’s so smooth it’s like a perfect oval!’

“To Richmond’s credit they were totally up front and said ‘we don’t pay anyone to move, we don’t pay you to play, this is all off your own bat’.

“They were totally up front and of course [for] women’s footy I didn’t expect too much … I was just so excited. So excited.

”The Tigers have become “a second family instantaneously” for Miller. She moved to Melbourne within a month, found a place to live and a new job. And now?

“I really am living the dream,” she says.

“People laugh at me when I say that, but playing for Richmond footy club at Punt Road Oval, I’ve got a great boss, I get a convertible as part of my job, I have a great girlfriend – I’m living the dream!

“In terms of this group, I think there’s something special being built here. I really do. It may not be evident straight away but good things take time and I think this group’s going to blossom into something pretty special.”
 
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TigermanM2

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 7, 2013
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EPISODE 7 - TESSA LAVEY


In the seventh episode of the second series of The Originals podcast, AFLW trailblazer Tessa Lavey talks about the path to becoming a Richmond footballer and a dual Olympian later this year.


Lavey’s leap to join the AFL Women’s league in 2021 - a major decision that the Australian Opal, world basketball championships silver medallist, Commonwealth Games gold medal winner and Rio Olympian has revealed she made hastily - is a legacy of her late brother, Tim. Lavey has discussed his passing, and the weeks she spent by his side about a month before it last year, before her sixth AFLW match.

“He was my biggest supporter and he believed I could do anything,” Lavey says.

“It made me think about my life, where I wanted to go and who I wanted to be. And Tim was a massive Tigers supporter as well.”

Since making her AFLW debut in round three, Lavey has held her position in the Richmond side that enjoyed its first ever AFLW victory - three weeks ago, in Geelong - and last weekend notched its second triumph from three outings.

As Lavey’s football skills and confidence are clearly improving she continues to press her case for selection in the Opals squad that’s preparing for the mid-year Tokyo Olympics.

A classic elite athlete, Lavey’s life has been itinerate - guided by sporting opportunities supported by her dedicated family.

Born in Swan Hill, Victoria, Lavey has lived in Hamilton, then moved to the Australian Institute of Sport on a scholarship at age 16, was immersed in that high-performance environment until she was 18 and then moved to Bendigo to play in Australia’s top women’s basketball league for the Bendigo Spirit.

She crossed the country to become the first captain of the Perth Lynx then relocated to Melbourne to play for the Dandenong Rangers, then back to Bendigo before recently relocating to Melbourne again to join Richmond while juggling her basketball commitments.

Lavey chose basketball over athletics as a clearly very talented junior because “I wanted friends, I wanted teammates,” she says in the latest episode of The Originals. She loved Aussie Rules, indoctrinated as a Richmond supporter thanks to her parents and four older brothers, but had no pathway to pursue footy seriously.

Lavey says she was never going to put herself forward to join AFLW, as she did before the 2020 national AFLW draft, unless Richmond had a team.

Combining footy and an elite basketball program was never something she sought permission for exactly - “No one said ‘no’. I think everyone’s question was more ‘how? How are you going to do this?’,” Lavey says.

“And in my mind I was like ‘why not? Like, why not me? Why can’t I do both?‘

“Everyone’s been super supportive of it so far and I’m hopeful that will be the case moving forward.

“Who knows what’s going to happen in the next four months.

“I think they’re going to make it [the Tokyo Olympics] work, I just think it’s going to look very different to the Olympics we’re used to.”

Currently managing a very high physical load she generally trains basketball on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, trains AFLW on Tuesdays and Thursdays and plays on weekends.

With the Tigers out of finals contention Lavey has two more weeks of juggling the unique program and says she has felt it most, physically, since her AFLW debut and subsequent string of games.

Sleep - ideally nine hours a night - nutrition, hydration and massage are crucial to Lavey’s balance.

The Australia Opals are ranked number two in the world. The great Lauren Jackson, Liz Cambage, Penny Taylor, Kristi Harrower, plus AFLW luminary Erin Phillips have all been teammates and great influences of Lavey’s.

Before joining AFLW Lavey said she felt “jealous” of the comparative visibility that accompanies playing Aussie Rules under the AFL’s competition banner, compared to the lower-profile - even if international - status of Australian Opal.

“Part of me is very irritated because I’d like that for my Australian Opals as well,” Lavey says.

“It makes me sad.

“At the moment I’m able to do both and I love doing both.

“I know at some stage there could be that hard conversation. But I’ll be ready for it.

“‘Future Tessa’ has a lot to think of, I think. It’s not a ‘Now Tessa’ problem!”
 

TigermanM2

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 7, 2013
7,462
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AFL Club
Richmond
EPISODE 8 - Harriet Cordner


In the eighth episode of the second series of The Originals podcast, Harriet Cordner discusses her mixed emotions as Richmond's 2021 AFLW season draws to a close after nine home-and-away games, as well as her empowering move from Melbourne where her family name is legendary.



Wanted ASAP: an AFL Women’s season that runs as long as the men’s. That’s Harriet Cordner’s big picture wish for the competition she feels has been better embraced this year than any to date.

The 2021 Tiger recruit who debuted in the AFLW’s inaugural season, playing for Melbourne, has told The Originals podcast that tears were shed in the Richmond rooms last Sunday.

Not because the team had just won its first match at the Tigers’ iconic Punt Road Oval headquarters - Richmond’s third win from its last four AFLW outings. But because the Tigers’ game on Friday against the Western Bulldogs is their last in an extraordinary year.

With Richmond not qualifying for finals - which run for three weeks in the AFLW’s fifth season - it all feels finished too soon.

Nine home-and-away matches, in Cordner’s view, is not nearly enough.

“There were actually a few tears,” the 28-year-old says, sharing backstage-pass insights on the latest edition of The Originals to her team’s post-match last Sunday.

“It is just really sad to think that you sort of dedicate so much of your life for this five month period ... where you’re on a bit of a roller coaster, really, the emotions and the highs and the lows.

“It’s almost scary to think that this time next week we won’t be coming into the club for training.

“I think it’s a really hard feeling to process.

“The thought of not coming into the club next week is really daunting, I think, and waiting another six months to starting all over again.”

Asked to table her number one wish for AFLW, Cordner responds: “A 22-game season next year.

“We play everyone ... we have a full-blown season where we don’t have to juggle this that and the other, and go on the roller coaster of I’m committing four nights a week and then I’m doing absolutely nothing (in the AFLW off-season), we just get it all.”

A veteran of the AFLW having played since 2017, Cordner said it was challenging to watch the AFL move heaven and earth to insure that the men’s full season was played in 2020, complete with a finals series and premier.

By contrast, the AFL women’s competition was abruptly halted in the relatively early days of the global coronavirus pandemic. AFLW players were invited to vote on whether a 2020 AFLW grand final should be fast-tracked so that a premiership side could be declared, or roll the dice on continuing with the remaining home-and-away rounds scheduled.

Ultimately the players voted to continue with the original fixture - Cordner says she was among the majority. But while she felt very strongly about it at the time she now feels having a 2020 AFLW premier would be preferable. AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has spoken with similar lament and effectively apologised, publicly.

“I think it does all feel like a bit of whirlwind and that we had to make this really quick decision on the fly. We also probably also didn’t really understand the complete implications of it in the moment,” Cordner says of the uncertain time where AFLW players were asked to vote last year.

“I think watching what happened in the AFL men’s space was hard because it felt like, after what we had been through, we had sort of been put to the side in a sense, and to think that that season (2020) didn’t have a conclusion really, it didn’t have any closure, and that anything and everything was done for the AFL men’s season in what we were facing ... I don’t know if frustration’s the right word, but it was just hard to watch, I think, as a player in the competition.

“I just wonder if there are people that watched that happen, and thought ‘how unfair’, and ‘that was wrong’, that have now gotten behind the competition that perhaps wouldn’t have, in that way.”

Cordner also discusses, in depth, what feels like an empowering move from Melbourne Football Club where her family name is legendary. She underlines that she loved her time as a Demon, her teammates and her coaches, but that she somehow felt “stuck” because of her football lineage.

“It added pressure that wasn’t about me just competing in this new sport,” she says.
 

Stan Judkins

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EPISODE 5 - GABBY SEYMOUR


In the fifth episode of the second series of The Originals podcast, ex-national-level volleyballer and physiotherapist Gabby Seymour discusses her inspiring roundabout route to cracking the AFLW ranks and some of her on-field highlights.

The AFLW’s most celebrated mark, as celebrated by the marker herself, led to brief self-consciousness and a mobile meltdown, but has not curbed Tiger Gabby Seymour’s enthusiasm one bit.

Seymour re-visits the round three grab she nailed and delighted in, and her subsequent failed attempt to goal, in this week’s episode of The Originals podcast.
The ex-national-level volley baller and physiotherapist who played her first match of Aussie Rules less than two years ago but finished third in Richmond’s 2020 best-and-fairest, out-marked veteran Magpie Stacey Livingstone in her ninth AFLW match. Seymour had been set an unfamiliar task.

“I’ve never played up forward. I haven’t played that much footy!,” Seymour says on the fifth episode of The Originals.

“The coach kind of said” ‘Gab, we’re going to put you up forward at the start of the second quarter’, and I’m like ‘right, okay, no worries, I’ve just got to get a touch’. Then of course I’m lining up on Stacey Livingstone who’s a bit of a jet defender.

“I remember thinking: I think she’s mis-read this, I think this is going to come out the back a little bit and it just felt like I just put my arms up and the ball was in my hands!

“I was like: ‘oh my God, the ball! I don’t know what to do now!’

It definitely wasn’t meant to come out that way.

“I reckon about two seconds later I was like: ‘oh my God, Gab, you’re on television this is so not cool! But it’s a bit late for that now!’

“You know when you sort of say something out loud and then you’re like ‘oh, no, I’m speaking out loud’? It was kind like that but it was a reaction.

“There was no arrogance or anything like that behind it. It was just ‘I can’t believe I’ve got the footy, what do I do next?’”

By match’s end Seymour had about 40 messages on her phone.

Seymour’s joyful response to her mark has been watched more than 6500 times on Richmond’s AFLW Twitter account since. Freeze frames were also captured by legendary AFL photographer Wayne Ludbey.

Seymour’s roundabout route to cracking AFLW ranks is inspiring. She spotted a Richmond invitation to a talent identification day for the Tigers’ VFLW team at the end of 2018. Seymour presented at Punt Road Oval without footy boots but showed enough to get Richmond scouts interested.

“I just rocked up in my runners and I thought there would be a lot of girls who would be kind of like that,” she says in The Originals.

“But everyone else had boots and everyone else seemed like they were a lot better than I was.

“I think I was pretty terrible.”

Seymour has endeared herself to coaches and teammates with a voracious appetite for studying footy and genuine application.

She was promoted to Richmond’s inaugural AFLW list from a rookie’s position and made her top-level debut in the Tigers’ first AFLW match.
I just love Gabby to the moon and back, if i had a younger sister, i'd want Gabby :)
 

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