Shenay Ibrahim - the Bright Prospect
'Just keep it simple have fun. I feel like footy can get overwhelming very quickly, gets to players heads and it effects their performance; just see ball get ball and if you get stuck, ask questions.'
Shenay Ibrahim’s footballing journey may only be in its early days, but this has certainly not stopped the promising prospect from making her presence known. As a matter of fact, we were given a glimpse into what Shenay is capable of last year, as the young gun achieved a considerable amount during 2019.
However, before we get caught up in her current footballing journey – it is best to start by seeing what happened during the years prior to her breakout year in 2019.
Considering how quickly it took Shenay to start finding success in football, it would be fair to think that her sporting background consisted of some of the more common sports that we see talented players convert from, such as soccer or rugby – but rather remarkably, majority of her life has been spent dancing.
She originally began dancing when she ‘Was about three’ and has continued with it ever since.
‘I love it, but I have actually taken a step back to focus a bit more on footy as Calder and dance clashed this year. I used to be in an elite training program three days a week but now I just do casual classes.’
But after years of doing dance, Shenay found her calling in football – and the young midfield-forward joined the Flemington Juniors Football Club.
Considering how much time she spent doing dance before she first strapped on the footy boots at club level, you may think that it would be difficult to pick up the game – but for Shenay, her years of supporting Essendon and kicking the footy at school came in handy.
‘It wasn’t difficult picking up the game as I have always watched it and played it at school here and there, but what has been the most challenging was going from just fun footy with friends to football at an athletic level.’
Shenay’s accolades from 2019 alone show just how well she has picked up the game, as she finished runner-up to both the 2019 Flemington Football Club Best and Fairest, and the 2019 WRFL Best and Fairest.
She was also ‘Lucky enough to have done interleague a couple of times now and got to Co-Captain last year which was insane – we won all our games as well’.
But her accolades for 2019 do not stop there either as she played in a Premiership with Flemington, in which she also had ‘The honour of being captain as well - so was just really special’.
Obviously, these accolades were all possible because of hard work – but considering Shenay’s level of passion and love for the game, we doubt she minded putting in the extra effort. In fact, her amount of passion is some of the highest that we have come across thus far.
‘I enjoy the team support the most. Coming from dancing, which can be a really competitive environment, I am still in awe of how supportive and understanding the footy community is – whether it is at community or representative level, everyone is just welcoming with open arms.
‘I have built some amazing relationships with people thanks to footy so definitely the support.’
It is also this same passion that is behind why she feels so positively towards ‘The Flemington Football Club – I owe absolutely everything to them and my coaches’.
As we hinted at earlier, Shenay has also had experience as a leader, which is a role that she really loves – ‘I actually really do, will not lie’.
‘… But I also love being a bottom age baby and learning from the older girls. Now moving into 18s that is the case and I am super excited.
So, with experience as a leader as well as an amazing season last year – it is no surprise that she was recognised by the Calder Cannons.
With 2020 marking just her third year of football – the opportunity to experience and take part in the NAB League Girls system has been one of her favourite footballing moments thus far.
‘Calder for me was on a whole other level, just surreal.
‘Every training I was pinching myself. I am also a huge Essendon fan and Calder affiliates with the Dons so whenever we wore old Bomber jerseys as training tops or anything Bomber related I was just in awe.
‘Still can’t believe I made the squad but overall, one of the most incredible experiences training with such talented girls definitely not taken for granted.’
Unfortunately, as pretty much everyone is aware, the competition has been suspended – but that has not stopped the promising prospect from continuing to work on improving her own game.
‘I am in the city so no footy for me but I’m still going for kicks. Also, with Calder we have got recommended programs, so I have got lots of outlets.’
So, what is next for this young and bright prospect?
While it ‘Would be a dream come true’ to one day play for her beloved Bombers in the AFLW – she is very grounded and wants to work on developing her own game first.
‘Like lots of girls, I don’t think anything could beat getting drafted that’s the big goal but before I even think about that my main goal is to be able execute consistent footy skills.
‘Once I can confidently say I am a good kick a good mark all of those things I think that will be a really big goal achieved. Obviously, only playing for three years there is a lot of work to do which I’m up for so that’s the major goal for me.’
At the end of the day, Shenay has achieved a rather remarkable amount during the short time that she has been playing – and with her high level of passion and dedication, we are certain that there is much more success coming her way.
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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.