Breanna Maynard - a Powerful Prospect
The countdown is on for Port Adelaide’s long-awaited entry into the Australian Football League Women’s competition (AFLW), and it’s got many South Australian prospects excited as to what could be.
Breanna Maynard is one such prospect and she has already spent 3 years donning the prison bar design, albeit for the Great Southern’s Goolwa-Port Elliot Magpies.
Throughout these past 3 years, Breanna has developed into a promising and versatile player – perhaps best displayed when she was crowned as the Goolwa U17s Vice-Captain for the recent 2021 season.
“It was an absolute pleasure to be able to be a leader of such an amazing team alongside my teammate Deriney,” Breanna said when asked about her time as a leader.
“It was a great experience being able to lead the team through a Grand Final and I hope to be given the opportunity to do it next season.”
Leadership opportunities are nothing new for Breanna since she was also the Captain of the Great Southern football side in 2020.
However, helping lead this year’s GSFLW U17s Grand Finalist was just one of many impressive feats that the young Magpie has managed to achieve during 2021.
For starters, as well as donning the prison bars for Goolwa, she also wore the teal and black of the Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy which “was amazing”.
“Being a part of the academy was the greatest thing that has ever happened to me,” she replied when asked about her time in Port’s NGA. “It was a lot of fun, and I learnt so much from the experience.”
Having gained valuable experiences from an AFLW development academy, Breanna was also fortunate enough to learn more during her time with the 2021 South Adelaide Development Squad.
“It was great, I learnt a lot through the coach, “Scully”, who showed me that I was best suited as an inside mid instead of a centre half-forward, which was the role I was playing previously,” she said when questioned about her time with the Panthers.
“The experience was amazing, and I hope to be a part of the squad next year.”
Breanna’s experiences with the SANFLW didn’t stop there as she was selected into the 2021 SANFLW U17s Futures squad.
Then, a year that included time with AFLW and SANFLW development academies, was topped off perfectly by Breanna as she was selected to represent the state which “was incredible”.
“But halfway through the program I got injured playing club and unfortunately missed playing the first game. But I luckily healed just before the second game and got to play.”
“It was a great experience and I made so many mates throughout it.”
As a passionate Port Adelaide supporter, just the possibility to one day don the colours of their AFLW side is enough to make Breanna giddy.
“That would be absolutely amazing,” she replied when asked how it would feel to make the Power’s AFLW side. “That would be awesome to be able to do that.”
Yet before Breanna was busy representing the state, making academies, or staring down a possible path to the AFLW – there wasn’t much on her sporting resume since before football she had not played another sport prominently.
In fact, it was at her school that the promising Magpie was first introduced to the footy world.
“I first decided to play footy when I started high school. I had just joined the footy class and my teacher Hartley told me to go out to my local club and start playing,” she said when asked how she got interested in playing footy.
“And after a couple of school trainings, I instantly fell in love with it and decided that it was something I wished to progress further in.”
Once she decided to strap on the footy boots, Breanna was given some strong guidance which we no doubt believe helped her rapid development.
When asked, those who she believes have had an impact on her footy include “my teacher Luke Hartley, my coach Jarrod Headon, my stepdad Ben Riding, my mum Michelle Maynard, and my teammates”.
So, what is the next chapter for this promising Great Southern prospect?
“My goal next season is to play more open women’s footy, try to make it into the opens South team,” she said when asked what her footy goals are. “I would also love to be able to do state and Port again.”
With great versatility, experience with leadership roles, and time spent in AFLW and SANFLW development academies - Breanna Maynard is full of potential.
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None of these photographs is owned by MWM; all images have been supplied by the player and were personally taken.