• Jayden J Bartlett

Sheena Peters - Loss & Triumph



At first glance, Sheena Peters football journey looks like any other highly promising career; with several accolades to her name and even a spot on an SANFLW list for the 2020 season.


However, heart-touchingly she was first inspired to put on the footy boots after the tragic loss of her friend back in 2018. The same friend that had been trying to get her into footy for quite some time.


Two years on, and the thought of her friend still lives on in the mind of Sheena as she builds a very promising path in football.


Here at Minutes with Moose we acknowledge how tragic the loss of Ellen Maple was and the impact it had on friends, family and the larger football community.


So, we must advise for anyone who may find it difficult, that this article does contain a small amount referencing her at the beginning of this article.

As mentioned earlier, Sheena heart-touchingly decided to put on the footy boots after the tragic loss of her friend, Ellen Maple. But we believe that this detail is best expressed in the words of Sheena herself.


“My friend Ellen Maple kept hassling me to come out and play at Mt Lofty with her, which I kept saying I would think about it as I was playing in the Australian Volleyball League which wouldn’t have been able to handle both very well.”


“Ellen passed away in a car accident the same day she was messaging me about coming to play, which I never got to reply to for her to see.”


“I decided to give volleyball a break for the first time in 13 years and come play for her club which she loved.”


So, after what can be best describe as an extremely difficult time, Sheena decided to put on the footy boots in memory of her friend; however, after 13 years of volleyball, how did she cope with a brand-new sport?


“I don’t feel like it was too difficult picking up the skills, I’m like a sponge and just retain all advice that’s given to me and then keep working on it until I’m happy.”


“I think I have found it the hardest changing some bad habits that came along with starting off by going straight into games without being taught all the basics first."

But unfortunately, her first season of football didn’t go to plan; as after two and a half games for Mt Lofty in 2018; she dislocated her knee and tore both her ACL and MCL.


Most people might think of giving up football after suffering a major injury so early on into their career. But after talking with Sheena it is safe to say that she is an extremely strong person that is full of passion.


And it is this same strong and passion driven person that, along with great support, managed to stay positive through it all.


“I stayed super positive throughout the whole process as I was determined to get back into it as soon as possible.”


And “It was pretty frustrating as I had a pretty major injury (compound dislocation of the ankle) the year before I started playing”.


“With my ankle injury that was the hardest as I was in hospital for three weeks and had six operations which was super draining.”


But “I had amazing support from friends and family which got me through the darker days”.

From there, she decided to move to Kenilworth in 2019; and it is here that her promising career really began to take shape.


And as for her time with the Kookaburras, well she describes that as simple “amazing”.


“I feel like the girls and boys are working hard to become one big inclusive club and you can really feel it. Geoff the women’s coach is so committed to us girls which makes coming to training each night so much more rewarding.”


And it was also here that she found her most suitable playing position.


“Well, Geoff said they were after a strong forward and he was keen for me to play there. All my sports I’ve been a defender, so I got really excited about the fact I finally had a chance to be in an attacking position.”


And he was spot on, as Sheena went on to boot around 23 goals last season to be named the Leading Goalkicker; but her impressive performance up forward also saw her claim the Most Valuable Player award as well.

So, with an impressive first full season of football under her belt; she was further recognised and rewarded with a spot on the reigning back to back SANFLW Premiers list.


Joining South Adelaide, it makes her the second volleyball convert in the team, alongside fellow Panther, Elke Jarvis. And like Elke, Sheena’s marking ability seems to be one of her greatest strengths.


“That is apparently one of the reasons I was noticed by the coaches was for my marking. Didn’t relate it to a volleyball thing but makes sense.”


However, after making this connection between volleyball converts and their marking ability; we realised that they don’t exactly catch the ball in volleyball, so what makes them so good at it?


“I guess we don’t catch it in volleyball but we have to position our hands around the ball perfectly for a set otherwise we get called for a double so that could be I. All us volleyballers are converting to footy I think.”


And making a SANFLW list so early on in her footy career has been an amazing experience for Sheena; who has been blown away by South Adelaide’s program thus far.


“It is nothing I’ve ever experienced before.”


“Everyone is so welcoming while pushing you to be your absolute best! I have never once felt a bad vibe which is crazy seeing as there are so many people involved but they all just want you to grow and lift you up.”


And “I have learnt so much already and look forward to every training that we have.”

So, with a very promising path ahead; what are some of Sheena’s goals going forwards?


“My goal is to play as many games for South as possible this year and contribute to a successful year for South. Leading Goal Kicker would be pretty nice too.”


As an incredibly strong and passion driven player; we believe that Sheena does have the potential to make a mark at SANFLW level and maybe even go further.


And with all the success that is surely to be headed her way, she says that the biggest impact on her career is definitely Ellen Maple, as she “probably wouldn’t be playing if she didn’t keep hassling me”.

Here at Minutes with Moose we acknowledge how tragic the loss of Ellen Maple was and the impact it had on friends, family and the larger football community.


Article #96

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#WatchTheWomen #SANFLW #SouthProud #MWM


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