Being able to wear a jersey with the name on the front being that of your country is a moment athletes all strive for. In 2015, when Sam Kelly from Melbourne, ...Australia began her football career, the idea of feeling the pride that comes with putting on a jersey with Australia on the front never crossed her mind. At that point, she was playing for the sheer love of the game she had developed through watching her brother play. Ironically, up until watching her brothers’ games, she didn’t have much interest in the sport. Her brother would watch NFL games, and after watching a short snippit, Sam would go on about her business and didn’t show much concern. One day, while watching her brother compete, she was invited to check out the women playing. Prior to her brother joining the juniors, she did not know women playing football existed. Since discovering the women’s team, she doesn’t want to look back as she falls more in love with the game with every hit. See More
Growing up, Sam participated in many other sports: netball, basketball, cricket, AFL, and swimming, some of which she competed in at very high levels. None of these compared to football. The other sports she has participated in, individuals can compete with pure physical skill, at high levels you need a certain level of smarts but physical talent alone can get you a long ways. In comparison, football requires you and the entire team to always play smart to succeed. Physical skill is needed, yes, but you cannot win with that alone in most circumstances. Football is about how smart you can play and stick to your specific assignment in correlation with each of your teammates to make a play successful.
Now that Sam understands the game, she enjoys watching film and the NFL when it’s televised. She says that the NFL is growing, along with the sport itself in popularity throughout Australia. Her favorite players to watch are Larry Fitzgerald, Rob Gronkowski, and Tom Brady which explains her favorite teams- the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.
For team Australia, Sam will be playing wide receiver. She looks forward to continuing to learn and grow in the sport from their amazing team coaches. She cannot wait to represent her country along with the other women on the squad.
Sam is currently a student at Latrobe University studying to be a school teacher. In order to make the financial commitment and suffice part of the burden of the travel costs, Sam has set up a Facebook fundraising campaign. Feel free to assist as you are able and share so Sam can continue breaking barriers! https://www.facebook.com/SamKellyGridiron