Maya Rigter - the Hardest Worker
Updated: Aug 23, 2019
“Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t want to work hard.”
What does Sturt’s Best U21 Player, their 2019 runner up Best and Fairest and a member of the 2019 SANFLW Team of the Year all have in common?
Well, besides all the accolades being from this season; they have all been accomplished by the same person.
And the person who has achieved this very impressive set of accolades for the 2019 season is none other than Maya Rigter.
Maya has added these impressive accolades to a growing list of success; which also includes playing in the 2016 and 2017 U18 Premierships for Morphettville and receiving Sturt’s Most Improved award in 2018.
However, this success becomes even more outstanding when mentioning the fact that she has only been playing since 2016;
“I’ve been playing football from 2016. I played U18 at Morphettville Park in 2016, 2017, 2018 and Div. 1 2018 as well.”
“I’ve been at Sturt since 2017 in the U17 that year and then asked up to the league team that entered the SANFLW Comp in 2018. Since 2018 I’ve played league footy for Sturt.”
Now with that in mind; it becomes even more impressive given that she began playing in 2016 and her accolades also date back to 2016. Meaning she literally hit the ground running in terms of her football.
And considering her stats for the 2019 season; one can only assume that there is plenty more accolades to come as Maya collected 131 disposals and averaged roughly eight tackles a game during the ten SANFLW games she played during this season.
But arguably, the only thing stronger than her skillset, is her love of the game;
“I love the bonds and friendships you form with your teammates and coaching staff. You become a family at footy clubs. I’ve always loved footy and its competitive nature combined with a wide array of skill sets, but I’ve realised what I love most is the second family your club becomes to you.”
And laying at the heart of this love and bond, is the Sturt Football Club;
“I absolutely love playing at Sturt. We are one big family there and everyone pushes each other to be the best they can be. We have had a couple of challenging years on and off the field, but it has brought us closer as a group and everyone is determined to take our games as individuals and as a club to the next level.”
“At Sturt I love playing alongside all the young girls. We have a very young team at Sturt and it’s awesome to see the talent coming through the junior programmes.”
“Having so many young girls around really encourages everyone to work hard to get the best out of themselves; and the young girls are really great to play with. They bring lots of energy and enthusiasm to the team.”
And what better way to follow up an insight into Sturt and their young players than with a generous piece of advice from the humble player directed at those who are climbing the ranks;
“If you really want it then invest time and effort into it. Do everything to be the best you can and leave no stone unturned. My favourite saying is “hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t want to work hard.” Do everything you can to be the best possible version of yourself on and off the field.”
Having experienced a considerable amount in her football career already; a moment that Maya holds very close to her heart is;
“We all lost a close mate at the end of our first season. Ellen played in a premiership for Norwood and then came to Sturt with her twin sister Tess. Ellen had a big impact on everyone who knew her, and we now have a match each year against Norwood that we play in memory of Ellen. To be able to play in that first game this year was a really special moment for me personally and as a club and footballing community.”
“That would have to be the game that stands out most in my memory as it was a great way to remember an amazing person and footballer.”
Words cannot to into perspective just how tragic that time was; but thankfully they were able to rally around each other during such an extremely tough time.
There are some people Maya would like to thank for having helped her throughout her football journey and these are;
“My Div. 1 coach from Morphettville and the current Glenelg FC women’s coach Jason Fairall has impacted my career massively. He’s a great coach and I learnt so much in the time I had him as a coach. To this day he still remains a close friend and someone who I can always talk Footy and life with.”
“There are many people who work tirelessly behind the scenes at footy clubs and they probably don’t get the credit they deserve and don’t realise the impact they have on a player’s career. Kelly, our physio, and Dave, our fitness guru, have helped me to further my fitness and make sure that my body is right and in check.”
Not only is Maya skilled, passionate and dedicated but she also has a dream;
“My goal is to get drafted. I would love to be drafted to an AFL team and live out a childhood dream.”
And considering how much she has achieved in the past few years and coupled with the earlier mentioned passion and dedication; her dream may just become a reality.