Luce Earl - the Talented Tiger
Updated: Aug 19, 2019
You hear a lot about players that have switched sports for football; and used their unique set of skills, that took years to develop from their previous sport, and transition that into their own brand of football.
And a prime example of such a player is Luce Earl.
With advice coming from the multi-talented player being;
“If you put your mind to something, you can achieve anything. Work hard on and off the track, try your all because you have nothing to lose! Surround yourself with positive people, with similar goals as it’s easier to achieve them with people by your side. But most of all make sure you are having fun while doing it.”
It is only fitting that she has followed this advice throughout her sporting career.
Originally beginning basketball back when she was just six years old, she continues to play “here and there” in a Division One women’s side in her hometown of Victor Harbor.
Luce has had an extremely successful career in basketball, and that is probably an understatement, with her list of basketball accolades for Division 1 including;
2019 - Summer R-Up Best and Fairest 2017 - Winter Best and Fairest 2016/17 - Summer R-Up Best and Fairest 2016 - Winter R-Up Best and Fairest 2012/13 - Summer R-Up Best and Fairest 2011/12 - Summer R-Up Best and Fairest
On top of this, her ability to score during these years has also seen her collect an impressive number of awards;
2017 - Winter R-up Top Scorer (217 pts) 2016/17 - Summer Top Scorer (185 pts) 2016 - Winter Top Scorer (230 pts) 2015 - Winter R-up Top Scorer (201 pts) 2014 - Winter R-up Top Scorer (177 pts) 2013/14 - Summer Top Scorer (153 pts) 2013 - Winter R-up Top Scorer (136 pts) 2012/13 - Summer Top Scorer (173 pts) 2011/12 - Summer Top Scorer (198 pts) 2011 - Winter R-up Top Scorer (121 pts)
And if that wasn’t enough, Luce also claimed the 2012/13 Summer MVP and finished runner-up for the Best and Fairest in U’20 Basketball.
She has also claimed a Team Award and finished runners-up Best and Fairest in A Grade Netball, a sport she began playing when she was just seven years old but has since stopped.
“I have also won a few junior awards in basketball and a few awards in running to.”
Luce has narrowed down her love of basketball to;
“I love the fast pace of the game and just really everything about it. It is fun and a very competitive sport.”
As for why such an accomplished basketball player would want to switch to football;
“My sister first asked me to come play with her at Adelaide Uni, but I never ended up going out. I wasn’t that interested; she then asked my other two friends and they went out and played.”
“One of them then ended up playing down here for Encounter Bay Football Club and they were short of players one day, so I went out and gave it a go and absolutely loved it.”
Football for Luce, after coming from a basketball background;
“I love the physicality of the game and the culture of the game. Being a team game, and us girls all wanting the same things; to win, to learn and achieve our goals, makes the game even more special. When you go out there to play you know the girls have your back, you become a second family. Footy is such a friendly and positive environment. It is different to any other game and that is why I love footy.”
She then played a few games for the Bays before joining the Christies Beach Football Club for “better competition and because my friend played there”.
“I would like to thank my first ever coach Brad Butler (Encounter Bay) and also Jorin Arch (Christies Beach), both for believing in me and for their time and efforts during my time training and playing under them.”
It was here that her football career began to take shape;
“My first year at Christies Beach I played in a semi final in Div. 4 and we lost. Then I got asked the same year to play in the Grand Final for Div.2 and we won the Premiership.”
“I was asked to play in the SANFL, first by South then by Glenelg, only just after my first season of footy.”
“This year for Glenelg we made it to the finals, after being bottom of the ladder last year, but we got knocked out of the semi-final.”
Considering she has been playing football for just two and a half years now, she has experienced and developed so much.
One of the people she would like to thank for this is;
“I want to thank Michelle O’Brien (Chooky) who has coached me for 2 and a half years now. She has developed me into the footballer I am today through her undeniable coaching abilities. With her time, effort, encouragement, constructive criticism and tough love, I have grown as a player and continue to do so.”
Not only does the talented Luce offer an insight into what it is like transitioning from one sport to another; but she also offers a great insight into the Glenelg Football Club.
For example, her coaches;
“I would like to say thank you on behalf of the whole team to Jason Fairall for his time and efforts. Jason has coached me for just over a year. I am always learning from every single training session. What he teaches on the field I take into my everyday life. He is a hardworking, committed coach who believes in us girls and women’s football, and for being hard on us but encouraging us through the toughest times and for that, we continue to be better."
“To my assistant coach, Tammy Scott (Scotty). She helped teach me a new role, a role unfamiliar to me and one that I have grown to love playing – defence.”
As well as the comradery shared between the players;
“I recall one time before a game. While the girls and I were getting ready. Noffy was interrogating another teammate in a funny way about how she doesn’t even eat veggies, not even lettuce. Noffy wouldn’t let up about how AFL players eat their veggies. Noffy makes everything funny!”
In fact, one of her favourite memories from her career so far is “getting to play with my idol Ebony Marinoff in this recent season for Glenelg”.
This season for the Tigers, the humble defender collected 56 disposals and 19 tackles in her nine matches.
However, despite being experienced and very talented at two different sports, Luce is extremely laid back and just overall kind.
Meanwhile, to finish on a very high and wholesome note;
“Most importantly, I’d like to thank my family and friends for supporting me, encouraging me and for their time in helping me get to trainings and games. To my mum, grandpa, partner – my three biggest fans. They come to every match, give me advice and feedback and are the most amazing support to me and for me. And mum, thanks for driving me everywhere.”