Savannah Rayner - the Shining Saint
"I would just say keep going. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t play footy because you are just as strong and capable as anyone else. If you work hard, you will achieve anything you put your mind too and that is the most rewarding thing in the world."
Every club has their own ‘favourite daughter’ or ‘favourite son’, a player that is climbing up the ranks and seems to embody what the club hopes to represent—and by doing so, they hold a special place in the hearts of both teammates and supporters.
More often than not, these players develop into skilful fan-favourites, think Nikki Gore to South Adelaide, Tamsyn Morriss to Glenelg, or Laitiah Huynh to Central District. But ‘favourite daughters’ certainly are not limited to the SANFLW—as shown through Savannah Rayner’s relationship with Christies Beach.
It took Savannah a few years to find her home at the Saints, with the young prospect beginning her football journey with Old Noarlunga, before spending two years with Reynella—before finally settling on the Saints, where she has remained for the past three years.
While it is safe to say that she has found a reasonable amount of success during her time in the red, white, and black—another thing that is quite obvious is her feelings towards the club as a whole.
“It has been an incredible three years! They have one of the best women’s football programs in that state with creating so many pathways to South Adelaide and even AFLW.”
“They also gave me the opportunity to play under 17’s this year as a 13/14-year-old which has changed me so much as a footballer. By far the best club I have ever played at.
“I am so blessed and lucky to be at such an amazing club, and they care so much about all of us girls playing.”
This love towards her teammates is perhaps the main reason as to why Savannah gained the Co-Captaincy of Christies Beach’s U14s side for the 2020 season. A season that would be topped off perfectly as the Saints claimed their back to back U14s SFLW Premiership which “was absolutely amazing”.
“My favourite moment was winning this year’s Grand Final. I got best player for my team and all of my friends from Christies U17s and A grade women were there watching and supporting us all. It meant so much to me.”
“… Been a tough year but all the girls worked so hard at training and it really showed towards the end of the year and especially the Grand Final.”
As well as playing in the 2019 and 2020 Premiership sides, Savannah also made the 2019 U14 Team of the Year and was named as her team’s Best Team Man in both 2019 and 2020—which makes her last two years very impressive to say the least.
Coupled with these feats is the fact that she also made the U16 Southern Football league Association side, meaning that her skills match her beloved mindset.
But despite this impressive list of accolades, her “favourite thing about playing footy is doing the sport I absolutely love with some amazing girls and winning with them is the best feeling, especially singing the song after a good win”.
And we have a feeling that it is this mindset that has made Savannah a favourite daughter of the Christies Beach Football Club.
“I would like to thank the Christies girls across all grades for helping my develop and motivating be to train hard and play hard.”
“All of the coaches and helpers at the saints, and both of my amazing parents for being my number one supporters.”
So, what is next for this Shining Saint?
“I am aiming to be pick in the South Adelaide development squad next year. In the future, my goal is to play for the South senior women’s and team and then get drafter to a national AFLW team.”
With six years of football experience which includes both premiership and leadership experience—there is a good chance that Christies Beach’s favourite daughter could become a favourite daughter of one the higher tier clubs.
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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.