Maddy Lane - the Young Gun
"Ask questions, listen to advice from other people and don’t shy away from being a leader because it is so rewarding."
One of the two new additions to the SANFLW last season, Central Districts didn’t have the inaugural season that they would have hoped for, finishing the year in seventh spot with two wins.
However, a team’s future is only as bright as their young players, and luckily for the Bulldogs, they certainly have no shortage of young talent.
And at the forefront of the Bulldogs young talent, is none other than Maddy Lane.
Since she was little, Maddy always had an interest in football, however her passion wasn’t the issue, it was the distance that she would have to travel that stopped her from playing.
Distance that was no doubt due to the vast lack of female teams but luckily for us and for her, she would finally get a chance thanks to the Barossa League.
“I have grown up around footy as both of my brothers have played since juniors. My dad played, and I played with my mum in 2018.”
But “it was always too far for me to travel, so when the Barossa League came out, I got straight into it.”
We say lucky for her and for us because, well playing football is Maddy’s dream, and lucky for us because if she didn’t get a chance, women’s football would have lost a very promising prospect.
Once she finally got the chance to play, Maddy’s football career escalated rather rapidly.
2018 marked her first season of football, where she would play with Barossa District’s U17s Premiership winning team. 2018 also saw Maddy make Central’s U17s side and also gain selection into the State U16s team.
But this isn’t all that Maddy did in 2018, as she also gained a spot in the Adelaide Crows Academy, a spot she also held in 2019 as well.
“It was good to work with an idol of mine, Chelsea Randall. I met so many inspiring players and learnt so much from them. It was something that I looked forward to each month.”
As impressive as her performance was in 2018, especially considering that it was her first season of football, it was in fact 2019 that she truly shined.
And this is arguably down to one main aspect, which was the fact that when she earned a spot in Central District’s SANFLW side, it made her the youngest player in the league for the 2019 season.
And of course, her time with Bulldogs so far has been both challenging and enjoyable.
“It is really fun; I’m learning a lot from the more experienced players which is increasing my development heaps. I’m challenged out there though.”
Being the youngest in the league for the 2019 season, you could forgive her if she didn’t play many games or didn’t perform well.
However, being the passionate and dedicated player that Maddy Lane is, she actually performed extremely well and was a very consistent contributor for the Bulldogs throughout the season.
In total, the 2019 SANFLW season saw Maddy play nine games and finish with a total of 50 disposals, all while averaging four tackles a game.
But this is far from Maddy’s only accolades from 2019, as she also got selected into the State U18s team and was also the State U16s Captain.
Getting to Captain any state side is a huge honour, and for Maddy it was simply “amazing”.
“I felt like I could make an impact in the team. I got along with all the girls and coach’s which was so helpful. Sometimes I was too concentrated on the team and forgot about playing my game. I would love to be captain again though.”
Once her SANFLW duties finished, Maddy made her way to the Salisbury Football Club in the SAWFL, where she continues to play today.
And now, “this year I’m continuing SANFL and SAWFL and trying out for the State U18s”.
Whether Maddy is willing to admit it or not, she is a very promising player. But after talking with her, it becomes obvious that she is just enjoying and trying to make the most of the game she loves.
“I enjoy meeting new people and building relationships with them. Love learning new things about it too.”
And no doubt, some of the stuff that she has learnt is thanks to these people, the same people that she would like to take a chance to thank.
“My first ever coach Alex Arthur, my parents and brothers for teaching me skills.”
So, what is next for this extremely promising prospect?
“I definitely want to play AFLW but if not, I would like to continue as a SANFL player while maintaining an enjoyable Job.”
As wholesome as this is, if Maddy continues to put in the hard yards, her dream will certainly become a reality.
And as for the 2020 season for the Bulldogs. Well, “Centrals have improved a lot since last year and we’ve been working so hard during preseason”.
And because a team’s future is only as bright as their young players; Maddy will not only help turn Central’s fortunes around, but she will continue to do so until she reaches the top.
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