• Jayden J Bartlett

Jemima Wrigley - Pride and Power

From representing Australia in Oztag to captaining the Southern Power, Jemima Wrigley has an excellent sporting resume to her name which stretches back to the better half of a decade.

Included in her sporting resume are accolades within football, Oztag, and Ruby 7s. Which add up to prove that she is rather talented at this trio of sports, to say it mildly.

While she is impressive at several codes, Jemima’s footballing journey began after she “played in a school gala day and loved it”.

“That year I got picked in the schools' state team. After that national comp, I fell in love with the sport and haven’t left.”

However, while it seems as if she hit the ground running with her football journey, it may have something to do with her already well established Oztag skills since, during 2015/16, Jemima represented New South Wales in the sport.

Likewise, before playing football she had also been playing rugby 7s where she represented the Randwick Magic at the Invitational Dubai HSBC World Sevens Series, which was “an incredible experience”.

“Through these sports, I've been lucky enough to represent state and national teams in competitions in Dubai and New Zealand. The opportunities I've had to travel and meet new people from all walks of life has been incredible.

“I love the sport for so many reasons, but mostly because of the community aspect. I met my partner and some of my best friends through footy, so I'm super thankful.

“Also, the adrenaline you get from sport is a feeling like no other.”

'The Power in Play' - image kindly supplied by Jemima.

Jemima also represented New South Wales in Ruby 7s at Nationals during 2017, as well as getting the opportunity to represent Australia in Oztag during 2016/17.

“A memorable experience would be when I was invited to the Aussie U18 extended squad training camp.”

“I remember we were playing a trial game and I looked over to the sideline and saw Charlotte Caslick watching, a very surreal moment.

“I was able to train with some very talented athletes, some are actually competing at the Tokyo Olympics right now.”

Considering this impressive sporting background; it is no surprise that she rapidly developed her football skills and, not long after she began playing, she was already making an impact in footy.

“The fitness, agility and strength I gained through training for rugby definitely helped me with my AFL. This is especially since I love to run the ball and take the game on.”

“Also, the contact and tackling with rugby has made me love the physicality of footy. I played both for a while, but when I was studying for my HSC in year 12, I had to choose one to focus on.

'Power and Proud' - image kindly supplied by Jemima.

Beginning her footballing journey when she was 14, she has spent all six years of her club level football with the Southern Power, progressing from their junior ranks up to their premier league side.

As mentioned earlier, it didn’t take Jemima long to make an impact in football, since 2015 saw her represent the New South Wales All Schools team. Then in 2016/17, she earned a spot in the Swans U18s Academy.

“Being involved in the State and Academy programs has been so influential to my life. It's taught me the dedication and professionalism needed to be successful.”

“AFL has also allowed me to travel around Australia and make life-long friends from all over the country, so I'm very thankful for that.

As the years followed, so did her accolades, as Jemima went on to captain the Southern Power U18s to a premiership during 2016, where she was also crowned as the Best on Ground.

Then in 2016/17, she represented the NSW/ACT U18s at Nationals, before then representing the Eastern Allies during 2018.

“Some of my favourite moments have definitely come from the nationals trips I’ve been on. The people I’ve got to meet and play with and against have been incredible and definitely pushed me to be a better player.”

“Playing in the state teams with the likes of Alyce Parker has taught me a lot in terms of the game on and off the field.

'Jemima the Eastern Ally' - image kindly supplied by Jemima.

While she was impressing at the representative level, Jemima was still finding success within local level football having finished runner-up to the 2017 Kieran Jack Best and Fairest, as well as winning the 2018 AFL Sydney Rising Star.

By this stage in her journey, her impressive resume was certainly getting noticed, and it saw her get invited to join the train-on squad of the GWS Giants VFLW Winter Series side during 2019.

“It was a step up from what I was used to, the intensity and expectation were very high which I loved.”

“I really got a taste of what it takes to be playing at the level. Was a great experience.”

Then, after collecting an excellent amount of experience, she was able to put it to good use as she became the captain of the Southern Power’s premier league side for the 2021 season.

“I’m so proud. We’ve got three women’s teams and three youth girls’ teams, so to have so many girls having a crack is awesome.“The club is such a supportive community, especially in terms of developing women’s footy. We’ve got some really talented girls coming through the ranks.”

Having captained the U18s side to a premiership, before then progressing through the ranks to captain the premier league side just five seasons later is impressive, to say the least.

And through these years at the Power, there has been one super supportive person by Jemima’s side.

“Kathyrn 'Huggies' Hull from Southern Power has been so supportive. She was my first coach in Youth Girls, and I got to play and captain alongside her last year. She has done a lot for our club and women's footy.

So, what is the next chapter for this powerful power product?

“I'm really enjoying my footy at the moment, well, before the lockdown.”

“I would love to have a crack at AFLW. The addition of the Swans team in the AFLW is really exciting. I'm keen to see what opportunities can open up in the future.

In summary, Jemima’s sporting resume includes representing Australia in Oztag and training alongside players who have since become current Olympic athletes in rugby 7s.

In football, she has represented the Eastern Allies, captained her side to an U18s premiership, claimed the Rising Star award, and is currently the captain of a side in the AFL Sydney Premier League.

And all of these impressive football feats have been achieved within six years of first strapping on the boots.

And so, one can only imagine how impressive her sporting resume may be within just a few more years.

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Article #189

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None of these photographs is owned by MWM; all images have been supplied by the player and were personally took.

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