Bri Oates - the Tassie Prospect
'Just keep at it and keep having fun. I reckon that is one of the most important parts of playing, or else you wouldn't be there. So just have fun and enjoy the moments that arise. Not everything is going to go your way or be easy, but that is part of the journey.'
Over the previous fourteen months, Minutes with Moose has featured a lot of promising footballers from mainland Australia – but now we think is a good time to bring to you a very promising player from across the Bass Strait.
Bri Oates has been playing football since 2017, originally with the New Norfolk Junior Football Club before switching to Clarence in the Tasmanian State League in 2019 – and during these past four seasons, she has certainly found her own fair share of success.
During just her first season of football back in 2017, she claimed her club’s Most Consistent Player award, a feat she backed up the following season as she claimed the award again in 2018. As a sure sign of good things to come, 2018 also saw Bri experience her first premiership, and she would also go on to Captain the Southern Tasmania team that same year as well.
Her impressive performances continued into 2019, as she would play in a premiership with her new side Clarence, as well as win their Most Improved award and get selected into the Tasmanian Devils squad.
While getting to represent Tasmania has ‘Definitely a challenge, that is for sure’, Bri has certainly found a lot of pride in getting to don the red, green, and yellow.
‘I learnt a lot personally and I honestly felt really proud to represent a whole state. Definitely a massive step up in the game but definitely a great opportunity.’
And of course, the following year saw her once again reach a new height – as this year, Bri earned the Co-Captaincy of the Tasmanian Devils.
With four very successful years of football already, it would be hard to pick out a favourite moment – but for Bri, it is ‘Definitely the premierships … cannot forget those’.
‘But even just the little things that happen, like getting to know everyone, particularly in Devils when we travelled to Melbourne – it has been really great meeting new people and building friendships.’
However, while she has been making a name for herself on the footy field, she has also been busy playing netball. But, despite the two sports being very different from each other, she has not found it difficult at all to juggle the two.
‘Obviously, I focus on footy more and it will always come first.’
But ‘I have learnt a lot of recovery techniques which are helpful. My netball coach is very understanding and supports my football aspirations, which makes the balance easy. I often find my netball skills help improve my footy.’
While it is a pretty unique benefit to have the ability to add netball skills and tricks into her own football game, another reason as to why she has been able to juggle the two sports rather easily is simply down to her love of the game.
For Bri, something that she really enjoys most about Tassie football is ‘The rivalries between clubs - it really gets you going', as well as the ‘atmosphere – it is really enjoyable, the sense of competition and a challenge is exciting’.
This passion is also helped by and reflected within her feelings towards her own club, Clarence.
‘It is a really good atmosphere and I enjoy playing with a great bunch of girls who encourage each other to do the best they can. We can be mates on and off the field.’
With her rather impressive football resume, as well as her high-level of passion – it is no surprise that, as we have hinted at earlier, she has held several leadership roles during her football journey.
However, Bri is certainly no stranger to holding such responsibilities, in fact she has been well experienced in being a leader way before she first took to the footy field.
‘I was sports captain for my house in high school, and house captain for three years in primary school, as well as an SRC member.
‘That is just part of who I am I guess; I could not see myself not doing it. It is a really good opportunity to be able to help others.’
And as any great leader would, she would like to take a chance to thank ‘Everyone who has helped me achieved what I have and encouraged me development’.
‘My mum and dad especially for believing in me. My first coach, Dean, who brought the game to me, causing me to fall in love with the sport.’
So, what is next for this promising Tassie prospect?
Well to it simply, her own goal is ‘To keep enjoying football and improving my game’.
Keeping in mind how much she has managed to achieve during her last four seasons of football – with each passing season getting more noteworthy, it is fair to assume that this promising Tassie prospect may one day reach the top tier.
But until that day, Bri Oates will remain one very bright player to keep an eye on from across the Bass Strait.
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None of these photographs are owned by MWM; all images have been supplied by the player and have been personally shot.