Future bright for Kiwi Jade

Jade Ransfield fell in love with AFL as soon as she started playing, and it would appear the game loves her right back.

Ransfield said that after playing her first game, she found it impossible to stop.

The 17-year-old, who moved to Brisbane from New Zealand with her family as a child, laced up her first pair of footy boots when she started High School at Park Ridge when encouraged by her friends to give it a go.

“Park Ridge is an AFL Academy, and when my friends suggested it was a really good thing to get involved in, I listened and I signed up,” she said.

Thanks to her friends, Ransfield may have just found her calling.

While it is still early in her footy career, the future is looking bright for the young athlete and she hopes to one day play in a National Women’s League.

“Obviously first I would love to be selected in the Queensland Women’s team, and if I can prove that I can make it there, the end goal would be to play in the Women’s League one day,” Ransfield said.

A big dream, but perhaps not a far fetched one.

Since taking on the sport in High School, Ransfield has played for the Calamvale Leopards and has more recently found her way to the Yeronga Devils.

Not only is she competing at club level, Ransfield travelled to Perth earlier this year to represent the U18 Queensland Girls team for the third consecutive year.

“Nothing beats playing in that team… I absolutely loved it,” she said.

Having turned 18 this year, this was Ransfield’s final opportunity to pull on the Maroon jumper for the U18 Youth Girls side.

Being her last year, Ransfield was given the honour of co-captaining the team and she described this as an incredible opportunity.

“Getting to captain the team at the beginning of the year was definitely a highlight for me,” she said.

The girls did extremely well in this carnival, making it all the way to the grand final.

“We were all shocked at how good we were… and how good we could be,” Ransfield said.

With a number of achievements already firmly under her belt, there’s no sign of slowing down for this young superstar.

Her team, the Yeronga Devils, is currently placed third on the ladder and heading towards finals, Ransfield said the team is coming together nicely.

“We’re definitely building and have been improving in the last few weeks… if we can get the starts of our games right from the get go, we should be able to give them a run for their money,” she said.

A devoted team member and fierce lover and supporter of AFL, Ransfield said that regardless of what team she’s been in in the last few years, each and every one of them has felt like family.

“Nothing beats the feeling of being part of a team… and a family,” she said.

Ransfield definitely draws the love of the sport from her footy family, rather than her New Zealand born and bred, rugby loving parents.

“My parents had no idea about AFL coming to Queensland… I’m still teaching them a lot of the rules,” she said.

This isn’t to say that her parents aren’t extremely proud of her, and Ransfield said that they are at almost every game cheering loudly for her as she runs onto the field.

“They’ve started to like it a little more, dad will watch a game with me every now and again,” she said.

Falling in love with the game may have been pure coincidence for Ransfield, but it is by no accident that she has ended up where she has.

The next goal for Ransfield is selection in the Queensland Women’s team, and who knows… Maybe one day we’ll be watching her play in a National Women’s League.  

By Sarah Lingard

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