Kiera Leare - the Promising Hillside Product
'Push yourself every game and every training session, and act on feedback from both your coaches and more experienced players because that is what is going to make you a better player. But most importantly have fun!'
Our 150th feature article is about a player that may well be on everyone’s radar by the time we hit our 200th. This is because in just four years of football, Kiera Leare has carved herself a very bright future in the game—best shown through her performance during 2019.
But while 2019 was her breakout season, it was 2017 that marked the beginning of her football journey when she joined the Hillside Sharks, a club that she still plays for today and one that she says has been very supportive of her passion for the sport.
‘… I have learnt a lot from playing at the club, they taught me about teamwork and dedication.'
'They helped me shape my pathway for my dreams of making AFLW. Overall, my time with the Hillside Football Club shaped me into the footy player I am today.’
But outside of Australia’s game, Kiera was also making an impact in both athletics and cross country, having competed at several state events.
However, while she was talented at athletics, football was her true calling—and it was this connection with the game that led her to finally strap on the boots during 2017.
‘I always watched the footy with my Dad and when we moved to Hillside and heard there was a girls’ team I was signed up right away. Soon as I started playing I loved the game and knew I wanted to play professionally.’
This is also why she says that her parents have had such an impact on her football journey as ‘They are the ones who taught me dedication and push me to succeed’.
This passion towards the game does explain how Keira managed to become such a promising prospect after only a few seasons—and in her own words, she says that ‘The best thing about playing footy would have to be the people you are surrounded by’.
‘… Everyone shares the same love and passion for footy as you which makes the game so special.’
As well as her parents, and her own passion for improving, she also says that her coaches have impacted her footballing journey because ‘Where would any player be without them’.
Her athletics background coupled with her high level of passion saw Kiera begin to make an impact after just her first season of football, as she received the 2018 Best in Finals award for her U15s side.
2018 also started the trend of Kiera playing alongside and against much older players, as she also played in an U18s Premiership despite being just 14 years of age.
“One of my favourite moments would have to be winning a Premiership in 2018, it is a never-forgotten feeling.”
This set the stage for a big 2019, and she certainly delivered as she claimed both the Hillside Football Club’s Best and Fairest and the EDFL Division 1 League Best and Fairest—the latter of which she describes as being ‘A surreal experience’.
2019 would also see Kiera take on the role as her U15s Captain which ‘Was an amazing experience’.
‘… It comes with a lot of responsibility, but I love the thought of being a role model, motivating and supporting my teammates’.
‘Being a leader is such a privilege and teaches you for the future both on and off the field.’
With a year like this, it is unsurprising that 2020 saw her gain a spot in the Western Jets U18s side—which has only further improved and developed the young prospect.
‘Since trying out with Jets I have improved so much. I really loved having the professional experience.
‘It is a shame the season ended so quickly but I still learnt so much from not only the coaches but the other experienced players in the team too.’
So what is next for this promising Hillside product?
‘I aspire to make the AFLW but most importantly improve as a footballer with not only the skills but the mindset too.’
‘I am surrounded by great coaches and fellow players that always help me improve and push to meet my goals.’
With this dedication, great support, passion, and promising skills, the writing is pretty much on the wall for this young prospect--and Kiera Leare will be one that is worth keeping an eye on when football makes its long awaited return to Victoria.
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None of these photographs are owned by MWM; all images have been supplied by the player and have been personally shot.