Scarlett Griffiths - the Passionate Blackwood Product
"Dream big, work hard, stay focused and surround yourself with good people. Take every opportunity that comes your way. Work hard, skill can be learnt, practice and repetition hones your skill, but character, integrity and humility will take you further than skill alone. So train with intent, be eager and passionate to be better every day, but treat others with respect, stay humble and remember where you started and where you are headed."
More often than not you can tell how much experience a player has by how much they have managed to achieve. Looking at Scarlett Griffiths and her list of accolades, it is easy to assume that she has been brought-up with a footy in-hand.
As a five-time premiership player with the Blackwood Football Club, as well as a member of the 2020 SANFL State U18s Squad—Scarlett has had an impressive football journey to say the least. But surprisingly, her journey is still relatively young as she only made the switch from ballet to footy in 2017.
“I had never played football before. I played a few games at school and fell in love with the game. I quit ballet to play my first season at the Blackwood Football Club.”
Going by what she managed to achieve during her debut season, it is safe to say that Scarlett really did hit the ground running. 2017 would see her win her first of many premierships at Blackwood—this one being with their U14s side during which she was also named as the Best on Ground.
Along with premiership glory, she would also claim the 2017 Blackwood Girls U14s Best and Fairest and finish third for the SANFL Zone Two Best and Fairest.
This marked the beginning of a healthy relationship with the Blackwood Football Club, time with which she describes as being “inspiring, enjoyable, and rewarding”.
“… Blackwood Football Club has instilled me with confidence and taught me all about the game. My coaches Damien Venning and Mike Attiwill have invested so much time and energy into myself and the other girls and I will be forever thankful to them."
“I am so grateful for all the opportunities and rewards that have come my way through Blackwood.”
This club support and “the fact that my gorgeous mum is my number one support” does help explain how Scarlett has managed to make an impact so early on into her football journey.
Scarlett managed to prove that her 2017 performance was not just a one-off, as 2018 saw her add another premiership medallion—this time with Blackwood’s U16 girls. Likewise, she also represented South Australia in the School Sport Australian Football Championships and was selected into the Port Adelaide Elite Female Pathway.
As a sure sign of good things to come, 2018 also marked her first season in the red and black as she was recruited by West Adelaide for their U17s side—despite being aged just 14 at the time.
This then paved the way for her eventual SANFLW debut for West Adelaide during Round Nine, 2019.
“I was so excited to finally debut. After week and weeks of hard work and dedication it all finally paid off. I was so thrilled to be asked to play that I was not even nervous. However, the nerves kicked in as soon as the siren went.”
“As the game went on, I felt more and more comfortable and my confidence built up. I finished the game on a high and was lucky enough to celebrate a win.
“Singing our song in the change rooms and having my first Powerade shower with the girls, my family and friends around me was honestly the best feeling.”
While her debut game ended with a win, her strong feelings towards the club have remained long after the final siren sounded.
“Westies has made a huge impact on the development of my footy. Not only that, but it is also taught me patience and resilience, it’s brought strength to my character.”
“I have made some lifelong friends and had the opportunity to learn from some incredible coaches and leadership. I feel so privileged to have played football with some elite athletes who have pushed me to work harder and mentor me.
“I am so grateful to have the privilege of playing in the SANFLW at West Adelaide, I love our club so much, our culture, our team values, and our playful team environment. The girls feel more like sister than teammates. I am so excited for my future at the footy club.”
However, her SANFLW debut was not the only accolade that she added to the list during 2019—as she also added two more premierships, both of which were won with Blackwood’s U16s.
2019 also saw Scarlett represent the South Australian U16 Girls Team, as well as earn a spot in the Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy.
All of these accolades were a part of what is an amazing and quickly growing football journey, and although it was an interrupted year, her 2020 performance also certainly did not disappoint.
“Obviously going into lockdown in the middle of the season was super inconvenient but I think it also taught me a lot.”
“I had to be extremely self-motivated and disciplined to do my strength and conditioning and I actually believe that I hit my strongest point because I had a consistent training schedule with no interruptions.
“I didn’t mind doing strength and conditioning by myself, but it definitely wasn’t the same as having your best friends around you.”
Her self-motivation and discipline paid off as she played in the Blackwood Open Women’s HFLW premiership winning side and was named as the Best on Ground. Which makes her Blackwood premiership tally equate to five, which “feels so surreal”.
“.. I have so many wonderful memories from each one that I will cherish forever. I love footy finals, I love the energy in the air and all the good vibes. It is so great to see our community gather to support and celebrate.”
As well as add yet another premiership medallion, 2020 also saw Scarlett become her School Sports Captain, finish runner-up to Blackwood Women Open’s Best and Fairest, and earn a spot in the SANFL State U18s Squad.
So, what is next for this passionate Blackwood product?
“I just want to give my all and do my best. I never want to have any regrets. I would love to perfect my skills over this next season and develop more strength with the goal of getting some more SANFLW games under my belt.”
If her last four years of football is anything to go by, then it is safe to say that Scarlett Griffiths has an extremely bright journey ahead of her—and who knows where she could be in four years’ time.
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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.