Kate Sheahan is a Woman’s Australian Football player with Collingwood. However she seriously injured her leg early into her first game and whether she will ever play AFL again is in the balance.
How did you get into AFL?
As a kid I played it a lot but then when I turned 13, as I was a girl, I wasn’t allowed to play anymore. However I was always around footy and loved playing it. I then started playing Tennis then after that started coaching tennis and then last year the AFL wanted to start a Woman’s league and they called me up and asked if I wanted to play. I said I absolutely want to play and started training and got back in the gym and then I got signed by Collingwood!
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
Probably my dad. He’s been in footy my whole life and he taught me how to play as a youngster and then when the time came at the start of this season he encouraged me to start playing again.
Was it harder to be taken seriously in footy as a woman?
No, I think maybe a few years ago it might have been but now people have accepted that Woman’s AFL will be good for the game. I think the whole country is really behind it and I think the opportunity is great for girls getting into footy.
You injured your knee really badly in the first game you played. Did you know it was bad as soon as it happened?
I think when it first happened I just felt this enormous amount of pain but I didn’t quite know what had happened and then the next thing I thought I can’t get up, I can’t move. I think from that point I knew it was serious and when I got to the club doctor I could see from the look on his face he knew I’d done something seriously wrong.
How good do you think Woman’s AFL could become?
I think in the future we will see it become as big as Woman’s Tennis and Woman’s Soccer. I think with the amount of TV and media Woman’s footy has got, the money’s there to provide the players with a professional basis so I think in the next 5-10 years we’ll see a lot more Women footy players playing professionally.
Do you prefer being an AFL player or tennis coach?
AFL player by a million miles!
You now do a bit of work in the media, do you enjoy that?
Yeah I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s given me a lot of energy and enthusiasm and I don’t feel like I’m working. I get nervous but that’s because I want to be good at what I do but I think nerves are important as well because they keep you on top of your game.
Is there any chance you’ll be able to play footy again?
I’m hoping so! The first thing I need to do is nail my rehab. I’ve been told my knee will recover and if I do all the rehab and make my knee bigger and stronger than it was before then I don’t feel as if I’m ready to say goodbye to footy yet!
Big thanks to Kate for participating in the interview and best of luck with the recovery.