Bella Smith - the Remarkable Redleg
Updated: Dec 30, 2019
"Honestly just follow your dreams. I got told I couldn’t play, but it didn’t stop me at all. So yeah, follow your dreams, don’t give up. Work hard."
Winter in Australia; everything seems to be grey; the mornings are too cold to get out of bed for and the nights seem to creep in way too quickly.
But for most; being able to settle in at night to watch the footy or being game enough to brave the elements to watch it live is something that makes winter worth it.
Then fast forward to summer; the high temperatures kick in early in the day and go right through until late at night, and the beach suddenly becomes most people’s favourite destination.
And for most; the hot weather is a perfect excuse to skip work and watch the cricket at home.
Why are we telling you this?
Well it is a more entertaining way of saying footy in the winter and cricket in the summer.
And it is this combo that has played a major role in Bella Smith’s sporting career.
Originally, Bella’s footy career kicked off at an early age but unfortunately, she had to stop because of a lack of female teams;
“Started off with the boys back in Eyre Peninsula at 12 and had to stop when I was 14 for Ports Netball Football Club.”
Luckily for her and us; she was finally given another opportunity play the game she loved;
“Played my first year of girls (U18) football last year for Hope Valley and then women’s this year for Payneham. Also, played for Norwood Women’s.”
And I say lucky for us because female football would have lost a very promising and talented player.
With Bella’s footy accolades including being the U15 State football captain, along with two U18 State team appearances and two appearances for the Central Allies.
And her accolades don’t stop there either; as remarkably she played in an undefeated premiership with Payneham, where she also received the Best on Ground.
And just to prove that it wasn’t a fluke, she played in an undefeated premiership Hope Valley last year where she once again received the Best and Ground.
As for cricket; well 2019 marks her “last year of U18 state cricket and fourth year of rep cricket”.
And she has played a little bit of state cricket over those years.
But as for what it is that makes Bella want to play these two sports;
“Mostly the culture the both sports have. The word is really overused within football, but I really think it has the best culture in all of the sports I’ve played. Love just playing in a team instead of individually.”
However, understandably playing two sports is difficult and it takes up most if not all of your spare time.
And considering Bella Smith has the potential to fulfil her dream of one day playing in the AFLW; it isn’t much of surprise that she thinks it may be time “to just focus on footy”.
And who can blame her; considering that she obviously has potential in football and given that she has been doing it for so many years, she deserves a bit of a summer break.
Footy has also given Bella many great memories;
“Definitely going to Gold Coast over the past two years, meeting so many new people.”
As for what it was about the trip to the Gold Coast that she enjoyed the most;
“Just so good playing against people my age and watching the talent just grow. Also, the weather!”
And she is also super stoked to have been a part of the Norwood Football Club;
“So awesome; best experience last year. Such a successful team too, it was just really good to be a part of it.”
And arguably one of the best parts of Bella is her attitude towards her teammates and even opponents. Which is another aspect that makes Bella Smith an extremely promising player.
“Sally Riley was a huge one for me in Norwood just to get that experience from someone who had played AFLW was awesome.”
“Alysha Healy and Jaimi Tabb from U18 allies, now best friends with both.”
“Najwa Allen and Hannah Dunn, brought a level of competitiveness I admire (at Norwood).”
“With Crows Academy sessions; Chelsea Randell has been a massive role model I guess, just seeing the way she attacks the game is just awesome and yeah really admirable.”
And it is this humble and compassionate attitude that really shows when you ask her who has helped her during her footy career;
“Definitely my parents for moving me over in the first place! But probably no one specific, just very grateful for everyone I have met along the way.”
“I think every person I have met has left an impact on me, whether it was advice, praise or just banter. Just the connections I’ve made have impacted my footy for the better.”
So, with the right attitude, great skills and impressive experience; the sky is pretty much the limit for Bella.
And it may be for the best that she just sticks to footy; because she may not have much time for cricket when she reaches the top tier of football.
Images - On The Ball Media, Deb Curtis Photography
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