DANDENONG Stingrays captain, Jordyn Allen followed her brother around as a youngster, throwing herself into any sport he did.
Unlike many TAC Cup Girls players who have come from a netball or basketball background, Allen’s journey into Aussie Rules has been quite unique.
“I think I did one ballet performance and tried a couple of horse riding things but it never really stuck,” she said. “Then I raced motocross for seven years when I was younger. “For three or four years, I was playing footy and racing motocross and then footy kind of started to amp up a little bit.”
It came about because her brother took up the sport, and little did she know that she would be picked to play for the Dandenong Stingrays as a 13 year-old and captain the side in 2018.
At the start of the year, captaining the side was a challenging role for Allen, who had to remain positive despite five losses to start the season. But being a mature person, that was not a problem for one of the best captains in the TAC Cup Girls competition.
“We were in it to win games,” Allen admitted. “That was the whole thing, we just needed to get to that next level. “We lost a lot of games by making silly errors so it was about refining that and addressing that, overcoming it and adjusting our game plan and our style of play around that.”
Thanks to Allen’s positive reinforcement, as well as her stellar football, the Stingrays stormed home to win their last four games of the season.
As for her own season, Allen has had the opportunity to represent the AFLW Academy against Geelong’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side, and captain Vic Country in its first hit-out of the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. The Dandenong Stingrays captain believed that being a part of the AFLW Academy has benefitted her in many ways as she strives for a spot on an AFLW list.
“That (AFLW Academy) is probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of,” Allen said. “It’s so awesome. “You have access to elite coaches and facilities and some of the opportunities that have arisen from it have been phenomenal. “It really does take your football to the next level. “It’s an awesome thing to be a part of.”
Allen’s most recent football achievement comes from the Casey Demons VFLW club, where she has played two games for the side so far. Although it is another commitment to add to her busy schedule, she admits that being in the Casey side has helped to balance her week.
“Now that I’m with Casey VFLW, I get two sessions in one,” Allen said. “We do gym after training so it kind of takes the edge of me having to find time to do another training session during the week. “I train twice with Casey during the week but it was harder to juggle school and TAC because I was training two nights then having to do two weight sessions as well as school and settling into Year 12. “It was stressful at times but I probably wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Next, she is off to the Gold Coast to don the ‘Big V’ for Vic Country in her fifth year of representing Victoria. Despite being selected so many times for Vic Country, Allen admits that receiving the letter of invitation to represent her state is still a moment that gives her goosebumps.
“It (being selected) still gives you tingles every single time you get selected,” the 17 year-old said. “It’s no guarantee you’re going to get selected regardless if you’re an Academy player or a TAC Cup player and I think more so this year, it was more of a relief because there’s so much talent coming through. “It was more like my job’s not done, I still have a lot to prove.”
Allen is not only hoping to prove herself in the ‘Big V’ but has her eyes well and truly set on proving herself in an AFLW jumper.
“AFLW is the dream for me, I have my heart set on it,” the Dandenong Stingrays captain said. “Obviously I want to have a career in another field on the side, but AFLW’s definitely something I’m aiming for.”