Renee Moon - the Great Southern Star
"Don’t be afraid to give women’s football ago. If you get pushed down you can always get up. Don’t compare yourself to what the men get because one day in the future it will be equal. Women’s football is on a journey so jump on and be a part of the ride. Show and prove to everyone why more people should kick like a girl."
Usually when a player switches from a non-contact sport that they have spent majority of their sporting life playing to football, it takes a few years before they start to really make an impact. But every once in a while there is a player that is an exception to this, and in this case that player is Renee Moon.
Despite having a very successful netball career, there would not have been many people that would have been able to predict just how much she would manage to achieve within just two years of playing football. She herself certainly did not expect to be where she is today, but then again by her own admission, she is “pretty hard” on herself.
Yet here she is, after just two years of football, Renee has already become a two-time club Best and Fairest and a league Best and Fairest, and now she is on the verge of playing her first season of SANFLW football.
As mentioned earlier, majority of her sporting journey was spent playing netball and she called the Victor Harbor Netball Club home. During this time, she played in fourteen consecutive Grand Finals and came out victorious on nine occasions—from which the 2019 premiership has been a standout sporting moment for her.
Not only this, but she was also named as the 2019 Great Southern Netball Association’s Best and Fairest.
As for why this accomplished netballer decided to strap on the footy boots, she puts it down to being enticed by “the challenge of learning new skills, the physicality of the sport, also helping spread the interest and participation in women’s football”.
“… I am a teacher so the girls at school loved it when I told them.”
However, despite enjoying many years with the Victor Harbor Netball Club, it would be at the Goolwa-Port Elliot Football Club that Renee would start her football journey.
“I was going to (Victor Harbor), but Goolwa were short so helped them out and have not gone back.”
Her netball career meant that she was no stranger to sport or to success for that matter, but there was still one major challenge left—and that was learning football after many years of playing a non-contact sport.
“Learning to kick the football was and still is the hardest skill I have ever learnt. Adjusting my pace during the game and not sprinting everywhere. I guess I am still really learning about the game.”
But she did not let the fact that she was still learning the game hinder her impact for the Magpies. Because during her first ever season of football, she would go onto claim Goolwa’s 2019 Best and Fairest and finish runner-up to the GSFLW Open Women’s Best and Fairest.
This is made even more impressive when you consider that she was nearly crowned as both the Great Southern Football's and Great Southern Netball's Best and Fairest player in the same year.
Then in 2020 she proved that it was not a one-off fluke, as she would once again claim Goolwa’s Best and Fairest while also going one further in the league medal count, this time winning the GSFL Open Women’s Best and Fairest.
“I was pretty surprised we have so many other skilled players in the Great Southern League it was nice to be rewarded though for the tough season. I just try play my hardest every game.”
“Just being able to play really is a great sporting moment due to COVID this year.”
However, despite all of this success in an otherwise new football career—it is safe to say that her footballing journey is purely passion driven. And perhaps that is why her favourite football moment was “probably my first football game and kicking my first goal on the last game of the season”.
It is also this passion that has seen her warmup to Goolwa so quickly, despite donning Victor’s colours for many years.
“It has been great at Goolwa; we have a really nice bunch of girls wanting to learn new skills. We always have had a strong coaching team and next season have a new coach which is exciting.”
“This will be our third season, so everyone is more serious now. We are wanting the women’s side of the club to grow more so hopefully with the new club room development this will help.
“Women’s footy is still pretty new down south. Always trying to recruit more people at the club.”
Her passionate character is also why she is so grateful for those who have helped support her during this young but promising football journey.
“Jason Ramsey has really helped me with my kicking. Ellie Fry my sister-in-law for convincing me to play and anyone supporting the women’s football league.”
After two very strong years of football, Renee has since been further recognised as she was invited to trial for South Adelaide’s senior women’s squad, and she thought she “might as well give it a try”.
Luckily she did give it a try, because with her quick pace and attack around the ball, she did enough to impress and make the cut—meaning that after just two years after playing her first ever game of football, she is now on an SANFLW list.
With this comes a new challenge and goal for her. She is obviously hoping to get a game and enjoying the experience which is “definitely a step up” from local level football.
“… Higher intensity and expectations. More skill specific drills and game specific fitness. Larger coaching staff and more support.”
“I love it but definitely a huge commitment and sad to probably have to give up playing a whole season with my local team wish I could do both.”
So, what is next for this star GSFLW product and new Panther recruit?
She has certainly made her presence felt within just two years of football, and she will only learn and get better now that she is in an SANFLW program.
So if she can keep that same level of passion and willingness to develop that she had at Goolwa, then she may well become one of the next great GSFLW recruits to make an impact in SANFLW.
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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.