I’ve grown to think it takes a little more than just 22 players merely ‘playing their role’ to win a Premiership. We’ve all heard it, haven’t we? One of the most used clichés in footy that is.

The ambition for “every player to play their role for the team”. It could be the most overused saying in our game…and it’s true to an extent.  But, for me, I think ultimate success on both an individual and team level needs to go a little further.

Play your role for the team yes, but also strive to go beyond it. It’s those one-percenters on and off the field. Finding a way to get better and be better. For me this season, I knew that leadership was one of those things I needed to work on.

Leadership isn’t a tag that gets handed to just one or two players – leadership can be owned and shared by every player on the team – on different levels.

Some people lead by doing, others by instructing. When it comes to footy, I’ve always naturally been more of a ‘do-er’ than someone who speaks up or instructs.

I didn’t grow up following the game, and really still don’t follow the AFL too much or watch games, so I think my confidence to overtly lead hasn’t always been there.

I’ve also been quite fortunate throughout my footy career to have played alongside some pretty great leaders and have been guilty of sitting back at letting them do all the work! 

It was humbling to be voted into the player leadership group this pre-season. With Daisy out for the year and Mel Hickey’s move to Geelong, I wanted to make sure I was doing everything in my power to ensure it was smooth sailing for the team going forward.

I began to see value in my own experience, and knew that I could give more in that leadership capacity than by simply ‘doing’. I think too over the past couple of seasons at Melbourne, I’ve grown more confident in my own knowledge and ability.

When you’re confident in what you know, it’s much easier to pass on and instruct others.

This year marks my third season at Melbourne. I love being here because everyone is so invested. I believe it does boil down to the people they have on-board, and I really see that and believe that now.

The staff and players involved in the club are humble, hardworking and generally good people. I think this has helped forge a culture which will set the foundation for long-term success.

We’ve got the same staff on-board as we did season one which says a lot about the stability of our program – there’s a genuine commitment there.

I started footy when I was about 16. I really just fell into it – but once I started playing, I fell in love with it. I never thought there would be a professional competition in my lifetime, but now that it’s here, I’m committed to get the best out of myself and achieve the ultimate success with my team and club – a flag!

I’ve learnt more in the last couple of years than I have in my whole 13 or 14 seasons, which is pretty incredible… you’re in a place you can reach your potential and play the best footy you can before the time comes where you can’t play anymore.

To sit back and really comprehend the opportunities that we’ve got right now – to be part of such a professional program, is awesome.

Obviously, there is a long way to go in terms of a fully-fledged full-time competition, but the generation to come will get to experience that which will be awesome to see.

There are pathways now that don’t stop at 12 or 13 years old. Footy is a genuine option for girls now because they can see a future in playing. Premiership or not, as long as I can look back and know that I did everything I could to reach my potential as a player and team mate, I’ll be satisfied.