Kiahni Russell - the Next Generation
Updated: Dec 13, 2019
As women’s football grows bigger and better by the day; we look forward to the next generation of football players that are a part of women’s footballs future and that will one day make the national stage.
Mount Compass’s Kiahni Russell may one day be one of these such players.
Having practically grown up playing the game;
“I’ve been playing since I was 4 and I’m now 14 but I had a year off when I was 8. So about 9 to 10 years.”
Beginning at the Kangarilla Football Club back in 2013, before moving clubs and joining the Mount Compass Football Club.
Originally at Mount Compass she did one year of netball because;
“At the time it wasn’t played by many girls and after that I started footy again.”
She then “played in the Souths U13’s girls’ team I think it was and at the time I was 11, then ever since the I’ve played in Souths development squad”.
“This year I was also selected in the 2019 Port Power academy, then the official playing squad of 26.”
With her preferred playing position being;
“Anywhere in the forward lines but if I had to pick it would probably be centre half forward or a pocket.”
Kiahni has become quite a strong presence up forward for her side and has achieved a fair amount of success considering her young age;
“When I was at Kangarilla and when I was about 7 or 8, I won the best team man award out of the whole team of boys and also in 2018, I won the leading goal kicker out of the whole GSFLW U16s.”
With some of her favourite memories from her career so far including;
“Making Souths development squad’s since I was 11 and also making the Port NGA squad and getting to be with such great people/players and the amazing coaches.”
Remarkably, she also plays for the Mount Compass boys junior colts’ side and has since 2013/14.
And as a part of the next generation of footballers, the thing she loves most about the game is;
“I’ve always loved the game, but my favourite part is making friends and getting dirty/muddy and just the atmosphere is so great and also most of my best friends are all from footy.”
With Kiahni being a proud Mount Compass product and apart of the club’s future, she obviously has some very kind words for the club she loves so much;
“It’s pretty much my life. I’ve been there for a long time and most of my achievements have been with or from the club. I’ve et so many new and amazing people and I love it’s a country club where pretty much everyone knows everyone, and everyone respects everyone. I just love it so much, it’s a big part of my life.”
One of the more intriguing aspects of Kiahni’s career is the fact that she’s grown up during the main period of the growth of women’s football and has witnessed firsthand, the development of women’s football in country areas;
“Well when I first started there was only me and one of my old friends at Kangarilla playing, then when I moved up to compass I and one of the boys in my team and he had a sister and she saw me out there at training and thought she might play and I played in the boys with her for about 4/5 years and have been playing footy in the girls with her for 2 years.”
“Then after that we had 3 girls playing, now there are dozens of girls playing footy just at my local club.”
Considering she has grown up with football, she does have some advice for girls who may want to give footy a go;
“Do it, you only live once and its such great fun. You make lifelong friends and it’s a good way to keep fit and keep you strong and you will not regret it.”
As apart of women’s footballs future, the humble forward obviously has a dream of one day reaching the same level as her role models;
“Well my biggest goal is to make it to the AFLW and have that as my everyday job.”
However, at the current stage Kiahni is still only young but she has a very bright path ahead.
On top of an impressive skill set and valuable experience, she still has that good, laid back attitude that only country players but also the champions of the game possess.
As someone who is considerably humble and laid back, she isn’t afraid to joke around or tell a tale;
“One funny thing was probably when I was running and got a great tackle and then she spilled the ball and I ran after it. Then another player stepped on the back of my boot and it flew off, but I kept going with no boot and we ended up getting a goal out of it.”
And as a humble and young player; there are some people she would like to thank for having impacted and shaped her promising career;
“Probably one is Chelsea Randall because she was the main person, she made me wanna become as good as her. Also, my parents and Luke Hartley and Easto have been coaches that have had a huge impact on my footy and Andy Coulter who was my first coach on female footy when the GSFLW first started and also Perrin Hicks.”
At such a young age and with a strong skill and mind set; Kiahni is a strong part of the next generation of women footballers and undoubtedly the future of the game.
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