• Jayden J Bartlett

Ellie Hicks - Strong & Resilient

Updated: Jun 18, 2020


Ellie Hicks is a very promising youngster – not just for Canberra footy but for women’s footy as a whole. Best shown through her last five years of football which have been great, with a couple of state appearances as well as selections into the U18 AFL Canberra Team of the Year.

However, as with anything in life, there are the good moments and then there are the bad moments.

Unfortunately, as with any contact sport – injuries are rather common, and not even the very promising Ellie Hicks is exempt from this harsh reality.

Ellie got her first taste of football a rather young age, playing AusKick from when she was eight to around 11 years of age. But it would not be until a year later that she first began playing club level football.

… ‘I lived in Hay, so I was playing for Hay Lions Football Netball Club with their U14s boys’ team and then had to stop playing club footy once I turned 14 because there was no team for girls.

‘Then I moved to Canberra and played U18s for Belconnen Magpies when I was 16.’

It was during her early years at Hay that she would get to play in her first Premiership. While the following year in 2016 would see her get her first taste of state football as she was selected into the NSW U15 Schoolgirls team.

Even when she moved to Canberra and donned the colours of the Belconnen Magpies, her accolades followed – but not only that, they also grew.

2017 saw her claim the Premiership with the Belconnen U18s – but it would be following year that we would get the first real glimpse into what Ellie is capable of achieving.

This is because 2018 saw her represent the NSW/ACT U18s, while at club level she won the Belconnen Junior Magpies Most Outstanding Achievement by a Player Award and to top it all off, she also made the U18 AFL Canberra Team of the Year.

2018 also saw Ellie get the chance to spend the season playing alongside her sister Jodie - which ‘Is definitely one of my favourite memories’.

Last year would also prove to be just as good, as Ellie would once again get to represent the NSW/ACT U18s as well as make the 2019 U18 AFL Canberra Team of the Year.

‘Playing in the NSW ACT U18 team for 2019 – the girls were all absolute legends and we made sure every minute together was as fun as possible. I will never forget the time we had playing together and training, I loved it’

'Mighty Maggies' - image kindly supplied by Ellie.

Unfortunately, the last half of 2019 would prove to be not as great – as she tore her lateral meniscus while playing school football.

But despite suffering such a bad injury – it did not have a major effect on her spirits initially.

‘Well at the beginning I got told I had torn my ACL so finding out I only tore my meniscus was a huge relief and I think that gave me a lot of perspective that it could have been so much worse, this honestly helped me to think positive in the early weeks of being injured.’

But as any player who has suffered a major injury would tell you – being forced to watch your team from the sidelines does take its toll, and Ellie was no exception.

‘Being sidelined for finals was heartbreaking and at times I honestly felt like I was not really a part of the team anymore. I think initially I tried to stay really involved in the club and in the team and was at every training I could get to, but it was not easy.

‘The hardest part was probably not being able to even go to our Grand Final because I was admitted to hospital with viral tonsillitis and glandular fever.’

Getting hospitalised with an illness while already being injured is a prime example of getting kicked when you are already down; and this understandably had an effect on Ellie.

‘This postponed my surgery and really knocked me about both mentally and physically. All I wanted was to be at that game. But overall, I think the thing that helped me cope best was just keeping myself as busy as possible and just really trying to teach myself to love my rehab rather than wish I didn’t have to do it.’

At the time of conducting this interview she was set to recover by late December, and of course she could not ‘Wait until preseason - knowing I will be going into it fully recovered. It will be such a relief’.

The fact that she managed to stay rather positive and overcome a major injury shows the kind of strength that Ellie possess – and while we have to wait a little longer before we get to watch her play again, thanks to COVID, it is nice knowing that women’s footy has it’s other very talented Hicks back.

Ellie is talented, which has been shown throughout her promising career, and she is strong, which has been shown through the fact that has she managed to recover from such a bad injury, and she is also very passionate about her footy, which is shown through what it is that she says she loves most about it.

‘I guess I love footy because I love being able to set goals for myself and work towards that. I actually love training and am a bit of a perfectionist with my game, so I guess when I get things right it is a pretty good feeling.

‘Being injured has really put into perspective how much I thrive off how much fun I have while playing and training.

‘I also love the team aspect of it. The last couple of years playing for Belconnen I have made some amazing friends and those girls are some of the most important people to me. It is also a pretty big passion in my family and something I grew up around, so I guess I don’t really know any different.’

While being passionate and strong would have no doubt helped her during her rehab, she has also had some great support behind her – ‘Probably most thanks would go to my parents and especially my mum who has been helping me every step of the way and has been at every appointment... she is honestly amazing’.

So, what is next for this talented and strong player?

Well we hope one day that we get to see her play at the same level as her sister, and there is also a chance that we may see her take on a coaching role – ‘I did a fair bit of netball coaching back in Hay but never too much for footy, but I definitely intend on coaching some footy when I get a chance’.

But at the end of the day – the sky is pretty much the limit for Ellie, as she has already proven that it will take much more than injuries to stop her.

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Article #66 (Updated)

None of these photographs are owned by MWM, all images supplied by the player.

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