• Jayden J Bartlett

Kiana Lee - the Promising Eagle

Updated: Aug 11, 2019


“Never give up! Hard work pays off and you can achieve anything you put your mind to. There was no way I thought I would be where I am right now when I first touched a footy; find your strengths and use them and work hard on your weaknesses. If you make a mistake, get back up and keep pushing. The quote I like to use … ‘Look into the mirror, and that’s your competition’. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, and I will promise you, that if you work hard, you will be amazing.”


This very generous piece of advice was given by the very promising Kiana Lee, who has undoubtedly followed a similar piece of advice throughout her career.


And with that in mind; it is no surprise that her career has been quite “amazing”, with the exciting prospect achieving and experiencing a considerable amount already in her extremely bright career.


“I have played for 11 years, played most of my junior footy with boys at Rosewater Football Club; until I was 14 and was not allowed to play with the boys anymore.”


“Then I moved to the Henley Sharks Football Club and played a year of footy there and now I am in my second year at SMOSH West Lakes.”


Considering she has been going strong for a remarkable 11 years; the thing that she loves most about the game is;


“I enjoy being in the team environment and rocking up to training and seeing all my friends, having fun whilst also improving on my footy. I also love being a role model to young boys and girls, who have dreams to play footy at a high level, seeing the development of women’s footy is amazing, and knowing young girls out there have a pathway to follow, and have a bright future in footy.”


On top of impressing at a local level, Kiana has also been busy playing at a state level;


“I played state footy last year and this year; also, I was lucky enough to play in the national team this year and also played my first SANFLW season this year for the Woodville West Torrens Football Club.”


And being a part of the Eagles inaugural SANFLW season is best summed up by the promising player herself;


“It was amazing, it was hard at first, because I was one of the younger girls, but as the preseason went on, I got closer with the girls and made a really good bond with my teammates, which made trainings fun and enjoyable. Although we didn’t get a win on the board, win lose or draw, I wouldn’t choose another club. Being a new team to the competition I am very proud with what we achieved. It’s the best feeling to have a really close bunch of girls, who encourage and support you to improve on your footy.”


However, all of this began because;


“My brother played, and I just wanted to go and have a kick of the footy, so I joined in with the boys. I picked it up easily; I was better than some of the boys, so I kept at it, I was called the ’little gun’ and it was also really fun.”


Not only has 11 years of footy given her a very impressive set of skills and valuable experience but she can also provide an insight into how much women’s footy has grown during that time;


“Well when I started footy the AFLW didn’t exist yet, so I was just playing for fun. Once I found out I had to stop playing at the age of 14 with the boys, I was devastated because it was something I truly enjoyed.”


“I had a year off and once I heard the AFLW was going to be a thing, I went straight back into it, setting goals to achieve and was willing to work hard to play footy at the highest level possible.”


“When I started at Henley Sharks that was the first year of the AFLW. The growth of women’s footy is amazing, so many young girls out there across the country playing footy; women’s footy is evolving each year and it’s great to see.”


Not only does Kiana have the experience but she also has had her fair share of success during this time.


For the U12 boys;


“I came fifth overall in the league votes out of all the boys, the leading goal kicker and overall third Best and Fairest in the boy’s team at the Rosewater Football Club.”


“From there, I came third in the U16 league Best and Fairest at the Henley Sharks and was the Best and Fairest at Henley. At SMOSH I came second overall in the U18 league votes and won the Best and Fairest for SMOSH.”


This year she has achieved a remarkable amount, especially with the Eagles inaugural side;


“This year at the Eagles I came overall third Best and Fairest, best First Year Player and was the leading goal kicker. Played state footy against the NT in May and booted eight goals in two games for SA and saw my name as a draft prospect in the U18 National Championship, which was pretty amazing.”


However, this success with the Eagles isn’t that surprising when you see just how much work she put in over the course of the season. Finishing with a remarkable 114 disposals, 40 marks and nine goals in just ten games.


This exciting youngster has experienced an extraordinary amount, probably too much to name. However, some of her more cherished memories so far have been;


“Being able to travel to Darwin and Queensland for state and national footy. Meeting some AFL Crows players and learning some skills from them. Playing over 100 games with the boys and winning several awards over the years.”


As well as this, her other favourite part of her career so far, which is also a great example of her humble and wholesome nature, is;


“Just watching myself grow has probably been the best thing about my footy and being able to prove that anything is possible; and that anyone could achieve anything they put their mind to. I’ve worked really hard to get where I am, and to see that hard work pays off is the best feeling ever.”


So with that humble nature, along with a tremendous skill set that she has perfected over the course of 11 years; Kiana the Banana (a nickname that came due to her love of the food and her skill of the kick) has an extremely bright and promising career ahead.

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