AS TEAH Charlton watched her younger brother from the sidelines, a fire burned in her.
The then 11-year-old quickly developed a love for Australian rules football and desperately wanted to play.
But, like so many before her, she thought the game was just for boys and never believed she would be able to strive to play at a national level – until this year.
“I have a younger brother and he was playing football and I enjoyed watching, so I asked my dad if I could play,” Teah, of Moana, says.
“He basically said there was no girls’ leagues at that stage, so I played with the boys for two years in under-12s.
“Then I found Christies Beach that had started a team in a girls competition, so I started playing with them.”
Now, fast forward four years since she started playing, Teah has returned from representing SA at the School Sport Australia Australian Football Championships last month.
Her performance at the tournament garnered attention and the midfielder was named in the All-Australian team.
“It makes me happy now because it’s more equal and we have more of a chance now to make it,” Teah, 15, says.
“The AFLW’s first season was so good to watch and it’s great knowing that I could lead into that if I focus hard and try my best.”
The Tatachilla Year 10 student was selected in the state team after impressing scouts at trials earlier this year.
Teah, a passionate Crows supporter, says she learnt a lot from being involved in last month’s national competition and hopes to one day emulate the playing careers of Adelaide women’s stars Erin Phillips and Ebony Marinoff.
“It was a great opportunity and I made so many friends and I felt more involved with footy,” Teah says.
“It made me love it even more and keep playing.
“My goal is hopefully to play in the AFLW.”