Annie Lee - A Promising Journey
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
"My advice would be to work hard, make the most out of every training/game you have. Enjoy your teammates and be in the moment, don’t think too far ahead. And enjoy the challenges and all the fun that footy brings."
There are several ways to introduce a great player; but for this Geelong Falcons player, all we need to do is provide you with a glimpse of what has she has managed to pull off over the previous three years.
Since 2017, Annie Lee has played in three Premierships and claimed four Best and Fairests; which certainly makes her stand out.
However, this is not even half of her story.
2020 marks Annie’s third season with the Geelong Falcons, however, she has been playing football for much longer. Which may help explain her performances over the past few years.
“Well I moved back to Australia from Scotland when I was around eight and that is when I started kicking the ball around with dad.”
“I still remember playing AusKick down at St Mary FC oval in 2011, from there I played at Newtown FC U12s and a few games for the U18s for two seasons before going to Geelong Amateurs to play U15s and now with the U18s girls.”
But what is it about the sport that motivates Annie to keep on playing, and to put so much effort into it?
“The thing I enjoy most about footy is that it’s so different from most sports, I love the physicality of the sport, and each training and each game is a step further to improving my knowledge and skills of the game.”
“And with playing footy outside of school I have been able to make some pretty amazing friends.”
And it is this same enjoyment that she gets from improving her skills and knowledge of the game, that has seen her achieve a rather remarkable amount during her football journey already.
As we mentioned before, she has played in three Premierships; two of which were with the Geelong Amateurs U15s Div.1 team in 2017 and 2018. While the other Premiership came last year with the Geelong Amateurs U18s Div.1 team.
“It is a lot of fun, but it is a reward for the hard work that all the coaches and support staff put in at the Geelong Amateurs footy club, and to be able to play in three Grand Finals with a great bunch of girls just makes it even better and makes all the hard work pay off.”
To go along with these Premierships, she also claimed Geelong Amateurs U15s Best and Fairest in 2017 and 2018. While in 2019, she received the club’s U18s Best and Fairest.
“It is an award I am very proud of, as being in a Premiership team, there was lots of good players involved and I was lucky enough to take out the award.”
However, if that wasn’t enough, she was also a V/Line Cup representative in 2017 and 2018, and she was also voted as “Geelong Cats Academy U/16’s MVP for games against Hawks, Kangaroos, Demons and Bulldogs academy teams”.
And finally, 2018 also saw her receive the U15 Geelong League Division One Best and Fairest.
So, considering everything we have just said, it is safe to say that Annie has achieved a remarkable amount despite only being young; which makes it scary to think of what she can do next in the years to come.
But there is still more to Annie’s story than just being a very talented footballer; because there is also the fact that for most of her life, she has also been playing netball.
But juggling two sports is understandably difficult, which is why Annie is on the fence as to whether to continue playing netball this year, or to solely concentrate on her football.
“I have played since I was eight, and had always been a sport I have played, but this year I really want to concentrate on my footy, netball is a non-contact sport, which can make it hard to switch back into footy and having to use my body in almost every contest.”
While this shows great dedication from Annie in respect to managing two sports, it also does beg the question of how this midfielder coped with learning the rules and skills of the game, after spending most of her life playing netball.
“It was definitely frustrating at times. I guess kicking at a young age, my mind didn’t understand that I couldn’t just pick up the skills over night, I had to keep trying and making mistakes was okay.”
“I still remember in primary school, I would always be kicking the footy with the boys and netball was just another sport I really liked, but never loved it as much as footy.”
While Annie’s sporting journey has already been rather amazing and she undoubtedly has a bright path ahead; after talking with her, it seems that it is the memories and love of the game that drives her to these great heights, more so than just accolades or achievements.
Which is understandable, given her favourite memories include “the time I got to be able to train and play alongside Nina Morrison, Lucy McEvoy, Olivia Purcell and Denby Taylor, and to be able to play in 3 Grand Finals is an amazing feeling that I’ll never forget”.
“It is hard to name a few as I have made so many great friends through footy and have made some amazing memories along the way.”
With such passion and gratitude for the game, it isn’t a surprise that she loves the clubs that she represents.
Whether that is her home club, Geelong Amateurs.
“Playing with my local club is amazing, Geelong amateurs support girls footy a lot, the girls are always so keen to learn, and every training is heaps of fun. The coaches are always happy to help and lots of support shown from family and friends.”
Or the Geelong Falcons.
“Playing for the Falcons is such an amazing experience, I’m learning so much, not just about football but as a person. I love rocking up to training and having a laugh with the girls and the coaches but also being able to really switch on.”
“It is a massive jump from local footy to NAB league, the skills are so much better but only makes me want to work harder. We are so lucky to be able to be coached by Brendan McCartney and a lot of great support stuff.”
And it is these same two great clubs, that has seen her play alongside some other very talented and gifted players.
“I have played with so many talented players but to name a few from many would definitely be Poppy Schaap, she is always so positive and always up for a laugh but is always where the ball is and puts 100% effort every time.”
“Another one would have to be Darcy Malone, she is very vocal and wants to help everyone, and there are others like Gabbi and Mia Featherstone, Tess Craven and Lucy Were.”
However, with all of this success and great memories; are of course those who she would like to thank for either helping her reach them or for being a part of them.
“I would like to thank many people but firstly my first ever footy coach down at Newtown Football Club Richie Dyer, he always made footy fun and especially my dad for helping me with my skills and footy preparation.”
“And all my teammates in Geelong Amateurs and Geelong falcons and I’ve been lucky to have amazing coaches along the way that I’m very thankful for.”
So, with what looks like an extremely promising career; what is next for this Geelong prospect?
“My short-term goals are to improve with each training session and to win a Premiership with the Falcons and my long-term goal is to hopefully play AFLW.”
She has already proved that she has the dedication and passion to put the hard work in that is required to make these dreams a reality; which means that the sky is pretty much the limit for her.
But at the end of the day, if her career continues down this bright path; like most household names, Annie Lee will not need much of an introduction.
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