Brooklyn Kraft - the Promising Panther
It was a prime example of winter football. With the relentless downpours and the frosty winds making the temperature feel way below ten degrees.
Yet despite the freezing conditions; for one team they were enjoying it too much to notice.
And that is because when the siren sounded; they became the first SANFLW team to win back to back premierships.
While the milestone was cherished and enjoyed by all who were involved.
It was especially soaked in by the number 33 for the Panthers, Brooklyn Kraft.
Just shy of a Marlion Pickett story; the Grand Final was only Brook’s fourth game of senior SANFLW football.
And what an experience it was for the sixteen-year-old;
“Very nervous, as I had recently joined the team but very thrilling to play in and super happy with the outcome.”
But it was far from the only Premiership experience she has had. Receiving the Best on Ground in the Christies Beach U18s Premiership in 2018.
And as a proud product of South Adelaide’s junior pathway; she has played in several U17s premierships including the most recent one in 2019.
This coupled with her time spent representing the state in the U16s; goes to show why she received the call up to the seniors.
However, despite it being hard to tell; football wasn’t always her main sport.
In fact, given her height it was more basketball and netball until;
“My teachers at Victor Harbor high said to come out and play football in a 9 a side carnival; ever since that I fell in love with the game.”
And she has been racking up the experience ever since;
“I've been playing football for 4 years now; started at Victor Harbor academy, then went to Encounter Bay in the inaugural GSFLW season.”
“After that I played for Christie's beach and then I played for South Adelaide U15s up till now. I played for Salisbury in SAWFL league this year as well.”
From a football perspective; Brook is highly promising. With strong pace and mobility considering her height. Along with a great kick and impressive hands, it all adds up for the humble player.
And from a spectator’s perspective; you can easily tell that she loves playing football.
Throughout her time with the seniors and more recently her impressive displays with the U17s; each week she improved and got better, and the only thing that stayed the same was the smile she had while playing.
Now keeping in mind what it is that she loves most about the game, it is no surprise.
“What I love most about footy would be being involved in a team sport meeting new faces and personalities.”
And some of these “personalities” in particular are;
“I love playing alongside Ella Thomas, Emogen Johnson; basically, I love playing with everyone at South Adelaide.”
Brook has come such a long way in the past four years; from running around for Encounter Bay to playing in an SANFLW Grand Final.
And she has already created some very fond memories;
“My favourite memories so far would be playing in the SANFL Grand Final, representing the state for the U16s against Victoria metro and being awarded Best on Ground for U18 Red Division Grand Final.”
Anyone who has watched Brook play would know that she has come a long way in just the past few months.
Which makes it scary to think of what she will be like this time next year.
However, she hasn’t gone through it alone; and would like to thank those who have helped her reach this extremely promising position;
“Without the football program at Victor Harbor High School I wouldn't really be in the position I am. Especially a big thanks to all my previous coaches who helped with not just my development in football but everyone's in the team.”
“I would like to thank my friends and family for supporting me and taking me to my trainings and games.”
However, arguably the best thing about Brook is that she has hardly changed from the girl that was running around for the Bays a few years back. With the exception obviously being her skills.
Yes, despite the talent, potential and a premiership medallion; she is still very much a humble young prospect.
Best shown through the advice she would give to those who are climbing the ranks like she did;
“Just for them to believe in themselves and be willing to take all the information that's given out at trainings and games to help improve, because they can only get better.”
And the final piece of Brook’s story is the nicknames; Krafty and Chook.
Krafty is pretty self-explanatory. But as for Chook, well;
“I got the nickname as it rhymed with brook so my younger self thought it would be great to get on the back of my school jumper. Then everyone started calling me it and it has stuck around ever since.”
Regardless of what you want to call her; nothing can sum her up more than these two words.
Images - Nick Hook Photography