• Jayden J Bartlett

Hannah Jones - Pure Passion

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

"I guess it’s the inclusivity and the atmosphere of it all! Football is just such a safe place and growing up around it my whole life has made me realise that this is the environment that I want to continue to grow in. You go from starting in a new team, not knowing anyone and only sticking to yourself, then to go two weeks into training with that new club and feeling right at home all because of that inclusion amongst all of the players. You learn so many new things not only about football but about those within your team and your coaches, vulnerability is one. And it’s the development side of it all too; I’m not only working on my skills and ability to play and train to become a ‘wannabe’ AFLW athlete, but I’m also working on how to become my best self-possible thanks to all of the support networks that comes with playing football as well as being involved in the community revolved around the sport also."


While Central District’s are one of the newest additions to the SANFL Women’s competition, it seems that they have no shortage of team culture.

And for a bit of insight into this culture, look no further than Hannah Jones, who is not only a foundation player of their SANFLW side, but she has also been busy making a name for herself as both a player and a coach.

But before we get caught up in her last two years with Central Districts’, it is best to start at the very beginning, and for Hannah Jones’s, her football journey began eight years ago.

“I grew up around Kilburn Football Club but started playing at Elizabeth Football Club, transitioned to Rosewater Football Club, got picked up by Woodville-West Torrens and started a team also at Seaton Football Club with some female friends.”

It was at both the Elizabeth and Rosewater Football Clubs that Hannah would get her first taste of success, as she would go on to win the Goal of the Year in 2013 as well as the Coaches Award at Rosewater in 2014.

Remarkably, the Goal of the Year that she kicked was actually the first ever goal that she had kicked during a game, which certainly helps explain why it is still one of her favourite moments to this day.

“My first ever goal that I kicked when I started footy was from 40-45m out. I was playing U13 boys at this stage with one other girl and I got Goal of the Year with it.”

And this was probably a sign of things to come, because when we fast-forward to further down the track, she would go on to kick ten goals during a game against Morphettville Park, which is understandably another “big highlight” of hers.

However, another cherished memory of hers is also another great example of just how passionate and dedicated Hannah is.

With this memory being the time that Hannah and her friends started a team at the Seaton Ramblers, “after we were told that we could no longer play with the boys”.

And of course, success followed her, as she won the “Leading Goal kicker in 2015 and the Eagles Medal in 2017 at the Seaton Football Club”.

From Seaton, she would then make the move to the Henley Football Club where she still plays locally as well as SANFLW football with Central District.

It was around this time that she got her first taste of representative football, as Hannah represented South Australia in the 2016 U15 Girls SSSSA State Team and the 2017 South Australian U16 Girls Kickstart team.

She would go on to be named as an emergency for the 2017 Woomeras Women’s Team.

She was also a part of the Woodville-West Torrens Talent Shield program from 2015 to 2018, before joining the Central District’s Talent Shield side in 2019.

2019 saw Hannah make the Adelaide Crows Inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Academy as a player and 2020 saw her become a part of the Academy again but this time as a mentor.

As a mentor, it requires leadership, and this is a quality that Hannah doesn’t lack, as she has spent her fair share of time in coaching roles.

“Last year I was offered to assistant coach the U14 girls’ team at Henley Football Club as I had my accreditation. It’s now 2020 and I was offered a position as the head coach for the U14 Girls, which unfortunately now we can’t field that team anymore due to the lack of numbers.”

But “I’m now coaching the U12 girls, as working with the younger generation to help develop their skills and perspective of football, is what I dream to do at this given time.”

“I’m also currently mentoring the Adelaide Crows Inaugural Indigenous Academy as I can’t play this year due to injury, which is helping me to develop on my own coaching skills and to gain a better knowledge on what else to incorporate into my own trainings with my U12 Girls team."

"The best thing about it is that I’m learning from some of the AFLW Adelaide Crows players.”

And of course, being around these AFLW players has been both a great experience as well as one of her favourite memories.

“The chance to be around the Crows’ girls week in and week out, learning from the best such as Chelsea Randall, Marijiana Rajcic, Ailish Considine, Elouise Jones, Courtney Cramey, Stevie-Lee Thompson, and so on.”

Through all of this, impressing both on and off the field and putting in all the hard work as both a player and coach, what pushes her to do this and to consistently do it, is her high level of passion.

Passion to not only develop and become the best that she can be, but also develop the next generation of footballers and make women’s footy the best it can be.

Which is why she is grateful for “all of the opportunities that have opened up to me over the past few years, from playing State two years in a row, to now playing SANFLW”.

“But overall, I would say promoting the Inaugural SANFL Girls Talent Shield for Woodville West-Torrens Football Club, making history for the younger generation and turning the ‘impossible’ into the ‘possible’ allowing girls to play football at an elite level proving themselves worthy of playing football other than just at grassroots.”

Which brings us to our main point of this article, which is the team culture of the Bulldogs and the experience that Hannah Jones has had within it.

“Last year I was given the opportunity to be involved in their Talent Shield Program and devastatingly enough, I tore my hamstring in the second game and so I missed out on the remainder of the season.”

“Prior to that, I had been at one of the trainings, me being new to the club after transferring from the Eagles, I didn’t know anyone and I had been introduced to Shaun Ribbons, who is the coach for the SANFL Women’s side (but I didn’t know that at the time) and he asked to have a kick of the footy with me.”

“He kept asking if I can kick on my left/right foot, I showed him that I could. He then proceeded to ask if I could check side and do a barrel, dribble the ball along the ground, everything under the sun pretty much, and again I showed him that I could. He then walked off and didn’t really see much of him again.”

“After the Talent Shield wrapped up, I got an email regarding whether or not I wanted to accept being involved in the Development Program with the SANFLW CDFC team and of course I said yes.”

“By this time, my hamstring was healed or so I thought, and I attended the training to which I then did my hamstring again. Centrals were really supportive of it and continue to be now. I was involved in the rehab group for weeks on end until my right hamstring was cleared and strong enough for me to hit the track again, but within the meantime, I had overcompensated on my left leg and did my knee.”

“There has been multiple times where I have almost given up out there and haven’t almost attended, but because our club is so focused on mental and physical well-being, it really made it easier for me to push through every day because I knew I had a team behind me supporting me every step of the way.” “Centrals is a club full of vulnerability and with that, I’m forever so grateful because you go out there and no one pity’s you. It is all love and support! We all help each other by reassuring one another as well as motivating and encouraging our teammates that we have what it takes to push through every day.”

“We all have each other’s back and if we ever feel the need to discuss something, we have trust within our team to open up and talk to someone. I haven’t found that elsewhere in the previous clubs I have played at and that is what I love about the Central Districts Community.”

So, despite being one of the newest women’s teams, they certainly have one of the more inclusive and overall supporting cultures.

And Hannah Jones, who despite suffering several setbacks recently, has remained positive, no doubt thanks to some help from her teammates as well as her overwhelming passion and dedication to help through coaching as well.

And with a rather successful career both on and off the field, there are of course some people that this passionate player would love to thank.

“I would definitely have to thank all of my coaches for shaping me into who I am today as a footballer and coach.”

“But most importantly, I would have to thank my Dad. He brought me up around football obviously growing up around Kilburn Footy Club, and from that, he always saw potential in me even if I were just running water or doing scoreboard, wouldn’t even have to be kicking the footy or understanding how to read the play, he has just always strived for me to fulfil my full potential ever since.”

“I just hope one day, I can follow in his footsteps and be offered the same opportunities and get the same rewards out of footy as he did when he was younger.”

So, what is next for this promising and passion player/coach? “With being out this season and possibly even the next with my knee, I can focus on my coaching and all that I want to progress with that.”

“Being out of football at this current time is allowing me the chance to learn significant coaching skills from those around me and obviously I am wanting to obtain as much knowledge as I can about that pathway to fulfil my goal of wanting to be a coach, whether that is at local club level now, or even possibly SANFLW or AFLW later down the track.”

“However, I do have the goal of debuting for Centrals eventually and hopefully would love to see myself getting picked up as an AFLW draftee one day, but that all will take time.”

“I guess at the moment it’s all just about development and recovery for me, but until then, going forward I would love to see whatever it is I do find myself doing as I set new goals for myself every day.”

Short term, we certainly want to see Hannah Jones make a full recovery and don the blue, red and white.

However, looking long term and keeping in mind everything we have just said, with the amount of passion she has, if she sets her mind to it, then the sky is the limit.

And as for her time as coaching, well we just hope that some of this passion rubs off onto anyone who is lucky enough to have Hannah Jones as their coach.


Article #109

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#WatchTheWomen #SANFLW #MinuteswithMoose #Bulldogs #CDFC

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