Charlotte Hammans - the Shining Sun
Updated: Dec 22, 2019
“Probably just to have fun and not put too much pressure on yourself. The more fun your having the more likely you are to keep playing and get better.“
Imagine how it would feel to find out that all of the hard work you have been putting in for years had finally paid off.
To have all of those setbacks, extra trainings and long days finally pay off as you reach your main goal would be a great feeling to say the least.
And in February of this year, it was Charlotte Hammans who was able to experience this great feeling, when she was pre-signed by the Gold Coast Suns.
“I was extremely excited as it had been my goal to get picked up in the draft so being pre-signed was a bonus. It definitely took a while for it to sink in too.”
While February marked the beginning of a new chapter for Charlotte; it also marked the end of a very long and successful journey that stretches much farther than just one sport.
But as always with any great journey, it is best to start at the very beginning.
So, with this in mind, how did Charlotte get interested in footy to begin with?
“I just started with AusKick at school in year one and never stopped playing.”
“When I was younger, I just liked that I could run around a lot and kick a ball but now it's also how much of a family the team's I'm a part of become.”
And 12 years later she has found herself on an AFLW list; but there is much more to her story than just this.
“I started playing AusKick at age six and then joined the Burleigh Bombers JAFC. I was the only girl through the U8s program and was then the only girl in my age group in the Gold Coast AFL juniors league for three years through juniors.”
“At 13, I played three club games a week as I played div 1 & 2 U13 boys on weekends and U18 girls on Wednesday nights. We also won a Premiership that year in the u18 girls’ team.”
Looking back now, maybe her high skill level today has something to do with the fact that at just age 13, she was playing three games a week; which would work wonders in terms of development.
However, it is her next few years of football after this that are truly impressive and was probably the greatest indication of just how good she would eventually become.
“I played four years of regional school football for South Coast at the Queensland school State Championships and won the Championships three times.”
“I also played four years of regional football for the Sunsets where we won the Queensland state Championships all four years and were undefeated.”
“From the Sunsets team I was selected into the U18 Queensland Academy at 14 and then into the inaugural Suns Academy for three years proceeding that.”
While this is a lot to take in, it is also more than what most players could dream of achieving; which is why it is remarkable that the next few years are even more impressive for Charlotte.
“I played in the U15 schoolgirls Queensland team at the National Championships and then in the U18 Queensland team for two years.”
“After the first year of U18s I was named in the All-Australian squad and played in the All-Stars vs Vic exhibition game.”
“I was then also selected into the U18 Women's NAB Academy.”
Which brings us to what has been one of her best memories from her football career thus far.
“I think some of my best memories have come from the NAB Academy trips last year.
“Just being around a whole group of girls who all have the same dream as you from all over the country and making friends with people I'll now play against.”
Arguably the best thing through all of this time, was the fact that she continued to develop and get even better despite already achieving so much.
Taking and making the most of very opportunity that was presented too her; in order to not only progress to the next level but also develop into the bright player that we know today.
However, “throughout the time I was playing football, I also did athletics, surf lifesaving and rowing”.
Considering how much work she was putting into football; she would be forgiven if her other sports weren’t up to the same standard.
However, if talking to Charlotte has taught us anything, it is that she doesn’t do things in halves and always gives 100%.
Which is why “from school athletics, I got a Queensland State Medal in 400m hurdles; little athletics I got a Queensland state record in the heptathlon and pentathlon, and in senior athletics I competed at Nationals in the heptathlon.”
From a football perspective, athletics is arguably one of the best sports you could do to help improve your skillset.
But looking at her other two sports, they have all undoubtedly helped shape the impressive footballer in one way or another.
“From surf lifesaving, I have been a volunteer lifeguard for five years and came 6th at the Australian titles (Aussies) in flags.”
“In rowing, I came 4th and 5th at the Queensland State Championships in my single scull over two years and I got two Queensland state medals in quad sculls.”
And while we have never covered a player so far that has had quite an impressive sports career as her, it does also beg the question of just how she managed to juggle all of these sports.
“It was difficult at times with school as well, but I managed to fit in training and competitions for everything.”
And while of this goes to show just how high her level dedication and passion must be, there is also another aspect of her football career that shows a quality that is sometimes hard to find today.
And this quality is loyalty; as she has spent all her twelve years of football up until this point with either her junior team the Burleigh Bombers, or her senior team at Bond University.
But she also has gratitude, as she would like to thank her parents “for supporting me all the way through my journey”.
But now that she has reached her dream of playing in the AFLW; how does she feel about her new home at the Suns?
“It has been really good so far. Our team is really close already and it is a great environment to develop my footy.”
“I have been around the club for a while through Suns Academy, but I always thought the facilities were really good and the people were really welcoming.”
So, what is next for Charlotte?
“My first goals are to get through preseason and play round one, but long term I want to have a long career and be a consistent player in the AFLW.”
Considering her bright football journey that has led her to the AFLW, we will certainly be kipping an eye on Charlotte.
Because if her past has taught us anything, it is that she has the ability to make her next chapter even more impressive as the last.
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