• Jayden J Bartlett

Keeley Kustermann - Westies One to Watch


"My advice would be to never give up, if you don’t make a team to keep putting in the effort for next time. Enjoy all of it and be grateful for the opportunities you get."

In a league with as much talent as the SANFLW, good teams are bound to miss out on finals.


And for the past three seasons, it has been West Adelaide that keeps finishing just one ladder position shy of playing finals.


2019 looked like the year that they had finally got it sorted out; but a loss in the final game of the season saw them once again miss out.


However, we may have just found the missing piece of the West Adelaide puzzle.

For those who are unaware, West Adelaide has no shortage of high-quality youngsters, and for the greatest example of such a player, look no further than Keeley Kustermann.


Hopefully, 2020 will see her much-anticipated senior SANFLW debut for West Adelaide, and if her past is anything to go by, it should be the start of something special.


While 2020 could potentially see her get her first taste of senior SANFLW football, it is far from her only footy experiences.


And this is because Keeley already has six years of footy experience, originally beginning with the Mitchell Park mixed U10s where she spent two years before making the move to the Goodwood Saints.


And while she did play netball at some point growing up, it is another sport that she currently does that is providing huge benefits for her football. And that sport is athletics;


“Coming from an athletics background I love being able to have the space to run around and of course being a part of a big team.”


“Because athletics is an individual sport I can fit in around my football, but it is great when I get to run with a group.”

And it is this athletics background, along with her strong dedication and impressive skills, that has seen her accomplish an impressive amount in the past six years.


For starters, 2018 saw her earn a spot in the Port Power Academy “which lead to being selected in the under 16 state team”.


And she also earned her spot in the Power Academy this year.


“I made the under 15 state team in 2018 and 2019, and in 2019 was selected in the All-Australian team.”

The fact that she is an All-Australian, is arguably the best sign of just how much Keeley is capable of achieving;


“It was amazing because I wasn’t expecting to get it. I also felt like I had worked hard, and it was great to get recognition for the effort I had put in.”


But her impressive list of accolades does not stop there;


“This year I won a Premiership in under 16 and 18s at Goodwood, winning best on ground in the 18s game.”


“In 2018 and 2019 I played in the West Adelaide U17 team as well as training with the senior team.”


But just like any great and humble player, Keeley seems to value memories over individual success, with some of her favourite memories being;

“Getting to stay as a team when we go away and making new friends. It was also great winning silver in Tassie this year.”


And for a little more information on winning silver in Tassie; it was “freezing, we only got ice on the field for one game. It was great getting to play on different fields and against different states and the style they play football.”

And it is this same positive mindset that sees her value her beloved Westies so highly;


“It is an awesome atmosphere at Westies.”


“There are a few other young girls that train with the seniors as well which is good but the older girls that have been there for a few years have made us feel a part of the team, the age gap isn’t really noticed.”


“The experience that I have gained has helped not only my football game but my confidence outside of footy.”


And considering just how bright Keeley’s path looks, it isn’t a surprise that there are some people she would like to thank;


“Of course, my parents because they take me everywhere I need to be and support me heaps and my uncle who spends a lot of time helping me improve my technique.”


“And the people at Westies and Goodwood who give me the opportunity to play up age groups which helps my development.”

Considering everything she has managed to achieve in the past six years, what was it that got Keeley interested in football to begin with?


“That is a tough question, I don’t really remember. I just asked dad if I could play, I’m not sure why I wanted to.”


And while she may not be sure on how she started; she seems pretty confident on where she wants to go;


“My short-term goal is to debut in the SANFLW for Westies this year and long-term goal is to get drafted.”


While she will hopefully make her much-anticipated senior SANFLW debut next year, not only will it provide her with an excellent chance to develop even more and make her dreams of playing AFLW extremely achievable.


But it may also prove to be the missing piece of the West Adelaide puzzle; because Keeley Kustermann has some sure signs of being a game-winning player.

Article #81

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#WatchTheWomen #WestAdelaide #SANFLW #MWM

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