*Pic courtesy of Solstice Digital + Photography
New Glenorchy TSLW captain Gennaveve Sullivan’s first speech as skipper was a memorable one, but perhaps not for the reasons you would expect.
“It was a bit shaky. I was dressed ridiculously, it was at our pre-season camp and we had to dress up. I was in a tutu with all this glitter everywhere, it wasn’t great,” she laughed.
“I was so nervous, because I have played sport ever since I could, and I have never ever put my hand up for a leadership role, so I feel like I'm jumping in the deep end.”
But just as she plays the game – straight ahead and with a minimum of fuss – 'Gen' delivered a simple but effective message to her new chargers.
“I just told everyone I appreciated them trusting me with the role,” she said.
“I’ve never been one for public speaking, and I’m not the most experienced, but I will be a supportive leader and make sure I support all the girls.”
It’s been quite a journey for the athletic 178cm netballer who was introduced to the football by a chance meeting with soon-to-be Magpies star Zabreena Manjerovic and her mum Leslee seven years ago.
“I ran into Zab and Leslee at a netball game, and they were like ‘come and play footy’. I hadn’t even heard of women’s footy before, but they were running the Lauderdale team so I played a year there,” Sullivan said.
“It was a bit of a hike, I lived in Glenorchy, so when the Glenorchy team started up, by then I knew a bit more about footy so I went for it and loved it straight away.”
Something else she loves is setting the standard on game day, as she did en route to winning the ANZAC Medal last year against the Tigers.
Next Gen at KGV
Now, with mainstays like Sandy Eaton, Nietta Lynch and Gemma Allan retired from state league football – replaced by an exciting group of youngsters under new coach Dean Webster – 28-year-old Sullivan has also stepped up her training to help mould the new-look line-up.
“It’s an entirely new team. We started to get into a rhythm (in pre-season) and then we had to put the brakes on. We’ll be starting from scratch again when we start up, but that just gives us a chance to prove ourselves I suppose,” Sullivan said.
“I think one of the main things Dean has drilled into us is our pressure, so while we want to be a team that moves the ball forward well, we’ve got to be prepared to push back, and judging from how the girls have embraced that, I think we’re going to be a strong defensive team.”
'The best club'
She’s very much looking to putting that new style on show during double-header games at KGV, which were received positively by Magpie players and fans alike last season.
“The double headers are amazing, I really like them, it brings us together on par with the men’s team and I feel like it unites us as a club,” she said.
“Glenorchy are so open to involving the women’s team, they have been since day one, I would never leave because I think it’s the best club.”
Congratulations Gen, welcome to the captain’s club!