Jamiee Millard - the Victor Harbor Product
2017 marked a new age for Australian Rules Football with the introduction of the AFLW.
And if our research is anything to go by … 2017 saw female players make up 30% of the total number of players and there was a 76% increase in female football teams.
With so many female footballers jumping at the opportunity to finally play the game they loved; it is difficult pointing anyone out.
However, a couple of years on and we can now see just how good the next generation of female footballers can be, and as we edge closer to the 2020s; there is a youngster we should keep an eye on.
And we are of course talking about the Victor Harbor product; Jamiee Millard.
Why are we pointing her out in particular?
Well, not only has Jamiee shown some great talent over her two years of football but she has also showed signs of great leadership … which for a player at her age is impressive.
“Growing up I didn’t really know I wanted to play footy probably until year 7. I came out to the very first kick off training in 2017 for the Victor Harbor Women’s Football Club and absolutely loved it.”
“Unfortunately, I was not able to play that year as I injured my knee and was out for 6 months. That’s when I started to watch more footy and understand the game a bit more for when I start that following year.”
“I started in the 2018 winter season for Victor Harbor Football Club. I was then nominated to trial for South Adelaide that same year and I made the final under 15’s squad.”
So, 2018 was a great start for Jaimee, making a development squad in only her first year but it is what she has achieved this year which is truly remarkable;
“This year I got the Best and Fairest for my under 16’s Victor team; the ‘Heroes on the Home Front’ award for commitment, dedication, teamwork, etc. I also got the Team Player Award which was voted by the team. Those were all for Victor.”
“I was also captain for the Victor team this year.”
Being awarded the captaincy in your second season of football is a sure sign that you’re doing something right; but Jaimee didn’t let that get the better of her, instead she was more so a more caring captain than a bossy one;
“I don’t like to tell them what to change about their skills as I feel is comes across cocky but if they ask, I am happy to give them some tips. I will also encourage them to just try their best and help them out with any rules or drills they are unsure about.”
I enjoyed being able to set by example also and it gave me an extra drive to try even harder each week.”
But impressively, Jaimee has also played football in the older age brackets;
“Playing in both the open team and 8/9 team for school I enjoy playing with other year 9 and year 8’s. I get along with them all really well and we play so well as a team.”
Spending time as captain with Victor Harbor as well as playing in older age brackets at school; definitely helped Jaimee’s skill level.
But Jaimee is not just a Kangaroo; as mentioned earlier she was a member of South Adelaide’s U15s Development Squad, which in her own words has worked wonders in terms of her improvement.
“I could see a massive improvement in how I played and having that more advanced levelled players around me, I was able to learn stuff from not only the coaches but the team. The coaches were able to notice things in how I play and give me personal feedback to focus on which really improved how I play.”
So, with a rapidly increasing skill level as well as a good knowledge of the game, the sky is pretty much the limit for Jaimee;
“I have a pretty good knowledge of the game. There is still plenty room for improvement. But as far as learning the rules go, I just watched a lot of footy and just winged it in the games until I understood.”
“In primary school I would play footy with the boys and my dad was a big help with my kicking, skills and knowledge as he did play himself.”
And with this in mind, her goals going forwards are simple and quite achievable;
“My goals are to see a massive improvement in my game and confidence (as it’s something that needs improvement).”
“My goal for the upcoming footy season would be play up in the Victor open team most weeks and hopefully get into the under 17’s South squad.”
But Jaimee’s sporting career is not limited to just footy;
“Right now, I am playing netball (in winter), tennis, basketball and volleyball as well as footy.”
“It’s a bit hectic sometimes.”
Which means you can easily add dedicated and passionate to a growing list of words used to describe Jaimee.
But even more impressive is the fact that she is also quite talented at these sports as well;
“For netball in 2017, I got the association runner up Best and Fairest. I got the equal Best and Fairest for the association in 2018 and runner up for my team. I got 3rd in the association this year and runner up for my team. I got the Kylie Beams Award for Best Junior Club Person for dedication and helping out.”
“I got Best Player for my tennis team and out of all the juniors in 2017. I got best player for my junior and senior team and the club and I got Best Club Person for that tennis season as well.”
And obviously, playing multiple sports comes with its fair share of challenges;
“It works well when tennis and footy overlap as I go straight from tennis to footy. With South games this year I had to leave school early! I coach tennis and netball too, so it is all just about working around everything! But usually it’s pretty good and I do something different each night.”
But arguably one of the most remarkable and impressive parts of Jaimee’s sporting career is the fact that she also coaches;
“I coach netball. I have done for two years and I am coaching tennis. This is my second year. Tennis is paid but netball is voluntary!”
Which opens the door for the humble product is expand into footy coaching if the opportunity arises;
“I absolutely love coaching younger kids! Right now, our club only has an under 13’s as our youngest team.
I feel like, with the knowledge levels I have right now, I would be more beneficial to the kids that are younger than 12/13. “
“If there was a younger team, I would consider coaching them in the next year or so!”
And considering the very promising position she is in; there is someone in particular she would like to thank for impacting her footy career;
“I would definitely like to thank Luke Hartley. He was the Victor open coach last year and my South coach last year. He is such an amazing coach. He gave me the opportunity to play up in the open team which pushed me to try my hardest which paid off one week when I received the 2nd Best on Ground. I was stoked.”
“He is also a teacher at my school, and he made sure that I was in all the school footy teams even though I wasn’t in their football program.”
Showing great signs of leadership at such a young age and only after a few seasons of football is a very promising sign for Jaimee’s future of football.
And on the back of a very successful 2019 there is one thing for certain.
And that is this will be far from the last time you hear the name Jaimee Millard.