Father’s jumper provides special connection every time daughter plays footy

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Back Roads

By

Fred Hooper

Posted

July 02, 2018 06:32:27

Video: Alex Hall has a special connection to the Scottsdale Football Club

(ABC News)
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Scottsdale 7260
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Ms Hall has been told she plays like her father and looks like him on the field. (ABC Northern Tasmania: Fred Hooper)
“It’s really important that I play for the Scottsdale Football Club because of the family connection, but I think also for the opportunity to be involved as a woman.”Ms Hall’s father played about 150 games for the Scottsdale Football Club, was a two-time Northern Tasmanian Football Association best and fairest, and won a raft of other awards. “Sometimes it does cross my mind at fleeting moments, ‘What would he think if he was here?'” Ms Hall said.”I think I know that he would be really proud.”When Ms Hall requested number 44 from the club it was more than happy to oblige, and after her father died in 1995, the number holds a special place in her family.”That feeling that I get, and it is a feeling at every game when I put on that jumper wearing number 44, his number, I feel really lucky,” she said.”It’s an honour to wear his number and his jumper and it’s an honour to wear it for the Scottsdale Football Club.”

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Ms Hall says she has always loved football, but now she loves playing even more. (ABC Northern Tasmania: Fred Hooper)
The Scottsdale Football Club women’s team has been instantly successful, winning the premiership in its first season, but there are still people yet to be convinced by the evolution of the game.”It’s not always roses and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I think we’ve just got to keep fighting the good fight,” Ms Hall said.”We still play the same game, we still play the same rules. (ABC Northern Tasmania: Fred Hooper)
As Ms Hall runs around on the ground on a cold night in Scottsdale, a punter yells out that number 44 looks like her father and even has the same hair.”I’ve been told that I am a very similar kind of player. I’ll never be that good because he was quite amazing,” Ms Hall said.”I’ve been told that yes, I run like him, I look like him. We’ve got a varied audience and supporters now and it’s been good to make our club a little more well-rounded,” Ms Hall said.Adding to her own experience, Ms Hall plays alongside a number of women whose fathers also played for the club, and they have formed their own bond as a result. AFLW players giving up everything to compete These women have walked away from their jobs and punished their bodies to take part in the AFLW. She meets communities whose good humour and inventiveness will inspire and uplift. Photo:
Ms Hall has only been playing football for 18 months, and loves it. He was a much better kick than I am but that comes with naturally playing football for quite a long time.”While Ms Hall appreciates the fact she can keep her family tradition alive at the Scottsdale Football Club, there is also a sense the chance arrived a little later than what she would have liked.”I just wish that women’s footy happened for me 10 years earlier because I would have loved the opportunity to play from when I was 16 or 17,” she said.Watch Back Roads on ABC TV 8pm MondayPast episodes or extras are on iView or at www.abc.net.au/backroads

#BackRoadsHeather Ewart returns to the Back Roads of Australia, to discover more resilient country towns and the inspiring people who live in them. It looks a little bit different to men’s footy but we enjoy it.”Women’s matches bring in new supportersNow instead of heading along to the game to watch her friends and family, Ms Hall is playing in the women’s matches, which are usually played before the men’s games.”It brings different people along to the footy as well. When Alex Hall pulls on her jumper for the Scottsdale Football Club it has a special meaning, given the number 44 on her back was also worn by her father and club legend, Jamie Dennis.Football had always been something Ms Hall was interested in and enjoyed watching, but she had never tried the sport for herself.Now she has found her place at the northern Tasmania club that is so important to her family.”It had never really crossed my mind because footy was never really an option which was offered, particularly for girls in our area,” Ms Hall said.