• Jayden J Bartlett

Shae Krushka - a Promising Canberra Prospect

Possessing great pace and an ability to read the play, Shae Krushka has become a handy defender thanks to her ability to rebound out of defence with speed.

Having spent many years calling the Belconnen Magpies home and playing AFL Canberra footy, Shae has collected some great experiences throughout the years including state appearances and premierships.

However, when looking over this young gun’s sporting career there is one aspect in particular that stands out – and that is her time in the Australian Wanderers squad.

In 2019, the Australian Wanderers toured Europe playing 7 matches in total, 5 in Ireland and 2 in England. Playing an Australian Rules and Gaelic hybrid, think International Rules, the side went on to win over half of their matches.

“It was an amazing experience,” Shae said when asked about the Wanderers tour. “I found out through one of the board members who passed it onto a few players, I was lucky enough to be one of them.”

Once the final game was played, the side then travelled to France for a holiday. Amazing experiences aside, Shae was also crowned as the Wanderers’ runner-up Best and Fairest.

Back on Australian soil, Shae’s footballing life has been just as successful. However, originally, her sporting life consisted primarily of the European game.

“Well, I was playing soccer for a couple of years and starting to get sick of it,” she said when asked about life pre-football. “Dad would always tell my brother and me stories of when he used to play.”

“I loved kicking the footy with my brother and Dad so decided to make the move over.”

'The Gold and Green' - image kindly supplied by Shae (pictured left).

Having decided to switch from soccer to football, Shae joined the Magpies for the 2014 under-19s season just before her fourteenth birthday.

During her first year of football, the young defender managed to notch up her first footy achievement as the Magpies claimed an underdog victory to be crowned as the 2014 Youth Girls premiers. She was also selected into the 2014 AFL Canberra Development Squad.

This successful debut season started a strong relationship between her and the Magpies, with the young defender continuing to don their colours to the current day.

“I have absolutely loved my time at Belconnen,” Shae said when asked about her time at the Magpies. “The women’s squad is amazing and so welcoming and supportive.”

“In youth girls, we had a lot to do with the women’s squad and we had a group of us transition into the women’s at the same time which made it easy.”

“You can’t fault the coaching staff and they want you to succeed so will do everything they can to help in that aspect. The club in general is super supportive and we have a great relationship with the men’s squad.

“Overall, I love the culture we have at Belconnen.”

After her debut year, the following years brought more achievements for Shae. 2015 saw her play in the under-16s ACT Representative School Girls Championship as well as get selected into the 2015 ACT/NSW representative side.

Then 2016 saw her back it up with another selection into the ACT/NSW side.

'The Mighty Magpies' - image kindly supplied by Shae (pictured right)

Having become a state representative and a premiership player within her first 3 seasons of football, Shae managed to never lose her humble streak. And as the seasons went by, the young rebounder only began to love the game more.

“I’ve made lifelong friends and have developed a great support network,” she said when questioned about her passion for footy. “I love the physicality of the game.”

“I also love how fast-paced the game is and how heavily you rely on playing as a team.”

2019 brought her the earlier mentioned trip to Europe, while back home she finished fourth in the Women’s Community League Best and Fairest.

Then came 2020 which, despite not being an ideal year for sport, provided her with a favourite sporting moment of hers – the 2020 AFL Canberra Women’s Premiership.

“It was amazing,” she said when reflecting on the win. “Queanbeyan were undefeated all season, so we went in as the underdogs.”

“No one really believed we could do it so to actually be able to beat them in that game was so incredible. We were all very emotional and it was great to celebrate with the club.”

“The first final they had beaten us by 60 odd points so to beat them by 10 was the best feeling.”

And as mentioned before, through her premiership glory and playing abroad, she has remained extremely humble. This positive and passionate mindset is why she also has several people that she would like to thank for impacting her footy.

“My family who have put so much commitment into coming to my games, travelling interstate, and paying for me to be able to go around Australia and across the world.”

“The club for their support over the years. the coaching staff I’ve had over the past couple of years who have given me so much feedback and put so much time into the extra gym and run programs for me.

“Of course, the girls who have made our squad such a supportive environment. I’ve never seen a group of girls have each other’s backs so much on and off the field, they make it all so much more enjoyable.”

So, what is the next chapter for this passionate Canberra prospect?

“Footy wise is to continue to build on my confidence and become more of a leader on and off the field,” she said when asked about 2022.

“I’ve also started preseason a little earlier so I’m fitter and strong in 2022.”

Having developed into an exciting rebound defender, Shae Krushka has the mindset to continue to push on and continue developing further.

Meaning that, with plenty of years of footy left to play, her path looks extremely bright.

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Article #216

Minutes with Moose would like to thank all of our ambassadors.

None of these images is owned by MWM; the images have been supplied by the player and were personally taken.

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