Teagan Brett flourishes on new path

By Tyler Maher

A decision last year to take a break from cricket could catapult Tallygaroopna's Teagan Brett onto an AFLW list at today's draft.

Brett was rising the ranks of the summer sport like a skied pull-shot - cementing her spot in the Victorian Women's Premier Firsts with Prahran, starring for Victoria at an under-18 national championship and taking part in a Women's Big Bash League exhibition game on the MCG all in the 2017-18 season - but it did not feel right.

She had lost the passion for the game she once loved and despite her increasing levels of performance, was not about to stand in the way of someone who simply wanted it more.

“I think cricket the last few years I played, I just didn't have the love for it any more,” Brett said.

“I didn't want to take someone's spot that deserved it more or wanted it more, so I needed to have a break to see if I wanted to still do it.”

While Brett took a break from cricket, she did not put her sporting talents completely on the back-burner, rediscovering football at Shepparton Notre.

That proved the turning point in her journey, giving her the chance to join the Murray Bushrangers, claim a best afield medal in a Shepparton District Junior Football League youth girls premiership triumph, debut for Richmond in the VFLW and put her on the doorstep of a possible AFLW career.

“I don't think I'd go back to cricket any time soon,” Brett said.

“I've just enjoyed footy too much.

“I did play a little bit of footy when I was younger, but there wasn't too many opportunities, I played fourths with Congupna for a year, but I got to the age where you couldn't really play with the boys anymore, so I took a break from that and was still playing netball.

“But the youth girls team was where my first opportunity came and that led on to Bushies and so on and now I'm here.

“I played two games there (Richmond VFLW), that was unreal.

“They were so welcoming the first time I went there. I was very nervous, but they all got around me.

“When I got to play my debut that was an unreal experience. I got a cheeky few goals, but the first one I got lucky with it snuck through and that kind of eased me into the game and my nerves (disappeared).”

Whether Brett's name is called out today at the Melbourne Showgrounds or not, she is still over the moon to be involved in the process - including testing herself at the recent Draft Combine.

“I'm excited, obviously there's a chance that I could get picked up, but also (being) pretty realistic there's a chance that I won't, but I'm excited,” Brett said.

“(I don't have) too high expectations, if I get picked up I get picked up, but if not there's plenty of opportunities out there for me to continue to play footy or school or whatever I choose to do in the next chapter of my life.”

Although this football journey began after laying down the willow, Brett has always been a multi-talented sportsperson.

Growing up next to Tallygaroopna Recreation Reserve with no shortage of family members to use the facilities with meant Brett was always going to be a handy at whatever sport she tried - and it is those formative years that moulded her current strengths on the field.

“My strengths are probably my skills, I have been kicking a footy since I was four and even when I wasn't playing, I was kicking with my Dad and my brothers (Shepparton premiership stars Mitch and Joel),” Brett said.

“My weakness is probably my endurance and getting to the next contest, it's something I need to work on and something I'm looking forward to working on over the next bit.”

And as for where Brett, 18, could be seen lining up next year, it is up forward where she believes her talents are best put to good use.

“I've started with the Bushies in the backline, but then pushed through midfield/forward,” she said.

“I feel more comfortable in the forward line, it's probably where I've played most of my footy and I'm more natural there.

“(I'll play) wherever the team needs me to play, but the forward line is probably where I see myself mostly.

“I spoke to a few clubs up at the draft combine, but I don't really have any expectations, I'm happy to go wherever.

“I'm just excited to be involved in it all, to be honest.”

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