• Jayden J Bartlett

Georgia Bevan - the Next Step

Updated: Aug 16, 2019


“I always thought being a dietitian and AFL athlete was a chance. In year twelve we had planners for work, and I would dot down due dates for assignments etc. I found that planner after the first AFLW season when I was cleaning out my room, some four to five years later. I had two major assignments pencilled in, one to interview a sports dietitian and the second was an argumentative piece on why women should play AFL. The universe gives you what you put out I say; it was always meant to be.”


She was a high school student with a dream, some talent and a lot of dedication; but I’m not sure if she was fully aware of what she would achieve and is still capable of achieving today.


In fact, Georgia Bevan is one of those players that no matter what, she always seems to amaze. Whether that is due to her list of football accolades, her career off the field, her impressive cooking skills or that iconic ribbon in her hair; she never ceases to amaze.


2019 marks her seventh season of club football. However, originally “I played every sport growing up and leaned toward soccer and softball”.


In fact, for the talented footballer;


“I only really found footy when I played footy in school and was part of the inaugural U18 youth girls South Australian team, from there I really fell in love with it and waited until I finished school to start as I was already doing a lot.”


From there, she also secured a spot in the All-Australian side while her success with state football continued;


“Being named Vice Captain in my first open state team in 2013. It was my second year of football and I was thrilled with the opportunity.”


As for what it was about the game that she “fell in love” with, Georgia narrowed it down to;


“The freedom of the game and the fact you can always contribute. Coming from softball where you have limited opportunities to impact and having too much time in your head, it was a welcome change. I also loved that no matter your body size, whether tall or short, there is a position for you, and it is a strength focused sport.”


After finishing school, she started playing football locally and her impressive career was set in motion extremely quickly;


“My first two seasons I played for Port Adelaide with a few of my state teammates before moving to my local club Morphies, where I played from 2014 to 2017 and was involved in the three-peat premiership there.”


However, she was a little more than just “involved” with the Morphettville Park Football Club. She was also the club Vice-Captain and remarkably, she was also the Club President.


One of her favourite memories to this day is “winning that first flag with Morphies in 2014”;

“We had worked so hard as a group, and I had really felt that historical build-up of that moment for the club.”


From there;


“I was drafted in 2016 to the inaugural AFLW team for the Adelaide Football Club and played the first two seasons including the inaugural premiership.”


Being selected by the Crows with pick 42 in the first AFL Women’s Draft; one of her favourite memories was and still is “being a part of the inaugural AFLW Premiership team”.


“That whole season was a career highlight, everyone was so supportive. I think the magnitude of that first game on the landscape of women’s sport won’t hit me until I’ve retired and sitting back and reflecting on my life. Winning the premiership was the cherry on top, not just for me but for my family to experience such a life high was something I will always cherish.”


And as for the big game itself, she remembers it as if it was yesterday;


“It was a really special week. We got to go to the Gold Coast as a team earlier in the week and enjoy each other’s company. The day itself flew by but I had a gut feeling from the start of the game that we were going to win. It was a nail-biting finish, so it was just a release of emotions when we won. Particularly because so many people had doubted SA talent, but also just to win the first one. We also threw one hell of a party with our loved ones who got to be a part of the whole experience with us.”


Since then for the humble player;


“I played with Sturt for the past two SANFLW seasons and am currently playing for Hawthorn in the VFLW.”


With Sturt, her success followed as she was co-captain of the side and claimed the clubs Best and Fairest.


Then recently, joining the Hawks, which despite it being a big change, “moving across to Hawthorn this June to play VFLW” has been one of her more favoured memories;


“It’s always nerve-wracking stepping into a new environment but I was ready for change and growth and I’ve been welcomed with open arms. The professionalism and kindness of the girls and the coaching staff mean I continue to learn, grow and develop as an athlete and person.”


As a part of the growth of women’s football and going from local footy to the inaugural AFLW competition, Georgia has a great account of just how big women’s football has grown;


“The growth has been immense. Basically, as I started the groundswell for the exhibition matches which later evolved to AFLW. Being a part of that inaugural season, you could see the instant change to the footy community. People who hated football started watching, young girls and boys had new idols and we have seen that now in local clubs with more and more girls playing. Seeing people come back to footy from stepping away when they were younger is also nice for them. It’s a full circle moment back to the game they love.”


And, as an experienced SANFLW and VFLW player, she can provide an interesting comparison between the two competitions;


“The season is longer, so they get to gel and develop game plans more which makes the standard better. Of course, with the clubs having AFLW programs linked to their VFL clubs, that makes them more competitive. It’s not a huge jump but there are probably more higher tier players.”


When she’s not busy on the field with her impressive footy career, she’s busy making a career off it.


As mentioned before, a dream of the humble high school student was to be a sports dietitian and with the amount of hard work and effort Georgia puts in; it’s by no means a surprise that she reached that goal;


“I am a sports dietitian so it’s the perfect profession. Although, it’s hard to progress career wise whilst I’m playing as it’s similar time commitments.”


And when she’s not busy with that; she’s also impressive in the kitchen;


“I really like to cook and bake delicious food. I tend to bake food for my teammates, it is nice to be able to share it with others.”


And as usual, with most of the things Georgia is passionate about; she gets very good at;


“I do make the best triple chocolate brownies and white chocolate and raspberry brownies. They are heavily requested.”


However, despite being rather talented at a range of things and even having a Wikipedia page dedicated to her; she is very humble and chooses to describe herself as;


“Someone who is in the right place at the right time, but I work really hard to be the best athlete and person I can, so luck tends to fall your way.”


And as a player, there are many ways to describe her; all of which are positive. But in her own words;


“I think I’m a strong, dynamic and physical midfielder that can also play as a utility. I break packs with speed and pressure opposition with tackle pressure.”


Considering she has experienced so much and has played alongside some of footballs finest, there have been some teammates that she loved to line up alongside;


“I love playing alongside some of my longer-term teammates, so CJ Cramey, Dani Varnhagen, Dayna Cox with the Crows and also Caitlyn Swanson at Sturt. Being able to play with Perko and Tahlia Radan again at the Hawks is really nice as well.”


“Of course, learning from players like Chelsea Randall and Erin Phillips has been a great opportunity. Not just how they carry themselves on the field but off as well.”


While this experience has meant she has met her fair share of influential people during her career. In fact, “there have been so many people along the way that helped me”.


It is only logical to start at the beginning of her outstanding career;


“Firstly, my high school PE teachers Sue Rodgers and Jason Archer, who recognised my talent and actually told me about the opportunities to play club footy outside of school.”


“Narelle Smith and CJ Cramey also provided me with a lot of guidance and opportunities to develop early on. They helped shape some of my early learnings of the game and understanding of structures and techniques which still make up parts of my game now.”


“Rick Watts built up my self-belief in my brand of football and to take the game on.”

“Bec Goddard had the greatest impact on my more recent development. She focused on my strengths, taught me to take risks and encouraged me to always enjoy the game.”


She would also like to thank one of the Adelaide Football Club’s most famous footballers;


“Andrew McLeod helped me gain some more confidence in my kicking ability. I spent a fair chunk of last year working on my disposal efficiency with him outside of training. He has a way of explaining and simplifying footy to make it more natural. He always has time to help you out, I always hear his voice when I’m struggling with kicking or doubting myself.”


With many accolades to her name, a humble mindset and valuable experience; she has some advice to the next generation of footballers;


“Work hard and utilise the great resources on offer now. Ask questions, take on the feedback and do the little things when no one is watching that turn you from a good to a great athlete.”


She has come a long way from the humble high school student who had a dream on and off the footy field;


“I always had a sense I had the potential to do something great, I just didn’t know what and still don’t know exactly what that is. I know I have more to give.”


“I have achieved so much in my football career and sporting life for a 26-year-old, but I know I am not done yet. I thrive off the elite athlete lifestyle and will continue to work hard for my next AFLW opportunity.”


Considering she has given so much but still has even more to give. With her strong passion and dedication coupled with her tremendous skills; she will make a fine addition to any AFLW side that is lucky to have her.

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