WESTERN Australia forward, Roxanne Roux used to dedicate a full day to football training.
Living in rural Western Australia, Roux had to stay home from school every Monday to prepare for her five-hour trip to training.
Roux says this placed a lot of pressure on her single mother, who also had to make time to take care of Roux and her five brothers.
“I have two younger brothers that were left at home every Monday when I went (to training),” Roux said. “They were about seven and eight, maybe a little bit older then. “We used to have people coming over just to check on them. “It takes a fair chunk of time and you miss out a lot on your brothers and siblings, and especially for Mum, missing out on school assemblies on a Monday and they got awards, we missed out on them.”
But despite the negatives, Roux was driven by her love for the game. Her passion and dedication have combined to mould her into a footballer with a very bright future. She may also have her brothers to thank for that.
“My brothers always played footy,” Roux said. “I have five brothers, three of them are older so they all played footy and I was always at the local club and everything like that.”
One day, Roux went from being at the local club to playing for it, as she signed up to play Auskick. From there, her love for football just kept growing, and no other sport could deter her love for Australian Rules.
“I went to one of the Auskick volunteers and asked ‘can I join in?’,” she said. “So I joined in and I stuck that year out in Auskick, got moved up to super 8s. “(I) Made the state team in Year 7 when I was 12 years old and I just continued to try out for state teams since then. “I played a lot of other sports but footy has kept pulling me back.”
The 16 year-old says that the reason football may be pulling her back is because of the enjoyment factor within the sport.
“It’s just so much fun,” she said. “I can’t really put a finger on it but there’s just something about it that keeps pulling me back. “It’s just the fast pace, the intensity of everything, just enjoying a team sport as well. “I did lots of other sports that weren’t team-based sometimes but it’s just a great environment to be around.”
It’s easy to see that Roux is enjoying her football, as she had a solid outing in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships representing Western Australia. At local level, Roux became a premiership player with her side, East Fremantle, where she chipped in with 15 goals from 12 games. But being the dedicated player she is, Roux admits she still has room to improve.
“I definitely think (I need to improve on) not getting caught at a stoppage when people go past because there’s a couple of times in every game that you always catch yourself out no matter how switched on you think you are,” she said. “Pretty much my footy game brain needs to have switched on a bit more in the games.”
Roux is working hard to improve on these assets of the game in order to play in football’s prime competition. Of course, the 16 year-old would love to play AFL Women’s, but will still strive for the highest level of football underneath if her name isn’t called out in next year’s draft.
“That’s (AFLW) the ultimate goal and what I’ve been working towards this whole time I’ve been playing,” Roux said. “If I don’t get there then so be it, I’ll still keep going at my highest level.”
Away from football, Roux keeps is simple, and possesses a unique hobby.
“It’s a little bit embarrassing to admit that I have an interest in poetry and writing and stuff like that,” the Western Australia forward said. “I have won awards and things like that for writing.”
Roux is eligible for next year’s AFL Women’s Draft, so another exciting year beckons for her in her Under 18s career.