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Brooke Wells of the Drysdale Lady Hawks football team participated in her very first VFLW game last Sunday when she represented the Geelong Cats in their practice match against the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval.

Brooke’s story is unique and inspiring as her first ever game of AFL was for the Drysdale Hawks in 2017. With nothing but curiosity about the sport Brooke joined the Lady Hawks and has never looked back.

“I’ve always wanted to give footy a go and after the success of the first AFLW season I was keen to find a club. After moving to Queenscliff at the start of 2016 I searched online for a women’s team and found Drysdale. I decided to go down to training and was immediately made to feel like a valued part of the group. That was huge for me as I was really nervous to go. I remember Stu saying to me at my first training ‘you can kick, I like people who can kick’, and it’s funny now but at the time it was really encouraging. After the welcome at my first training I didn’t think twice about joining the club.”

Brooke joined the Lady Hawks for the clubs first season fielding a senior women’s team. In 2017 the Lady Hawks played in the Goldfields League as there was no league around the Geelong region. 2018 saw AFL Barwon put together a league of teams local to the Geelong region.

“Footy has become a huge part of my life. I’ve always loved sport and admired elite athletes, and before footy I had pursued a few other sports, but the atmosphere around footy, particularly on match day is something completely new to me.

When I moved down here I didn’t know anyone and now I have a whole footy family and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. The group at Drysdale has become a massive part of keeping footy fun for me.

I look up to the people close to me, Prue Davies, Stu Craven and Laura Taylor, in particular. Prue’s incredible knowledge and passion in footy is something I really admire and strive for. She is also a great leader of our team and will always get us revved up to play. Laura , on the other hand, the way that she can balance VFLW footy, work and study in very impressive and something I struggle to do, so she is a great mentor and support for me.

Stu is someone that has supported me from day one and has always never failed to advocate for women’s footy. Outside of footy, Stu has always looked after me, often checking just to see how I’m going. I’m so appreciative of that and I think

it’s something we should all strive for. Pruey, Stu and Laura are never short of love and encouragement for the rest of the team and I really think that’s a lot more important than their abilities in footy alone.”

Drysdale Lady Hawks have begun their preseason training in preparation of the 2019

season which will begin in April. Head coach Stuart Craven and captain Prue Davies are always on the lookout for new players and encourage anyone to come down and see for yourself how inclusive and enjoyable footy is at the Drysdale Football Club.

Players of any ability are still wanted and welcome. If you are keen to give footy a go

contact Stuart on 0417 010 364.

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