Wollongong Saints’ sharpshooter Kate Stanton takes league by storm

Wollongong Saints’ sharpshooter Kate Stanton in action. The Saints play Southern Power in the Sydney AFL women’s division two grand final on September 7 in Blacktown.

Wollongong Saints’ sharpshooter Kate Stanton in action. The Saints play Southern Power in the Sydney AFL women’s division two grand final on September 7 in Blacktown.

Kate Stanton could be the ace in the pack if the Wollongong Saints women’s AFL team march towards grand final victory this Sunday.

Stanton is the best goal kicker in the Sydney women’s division two competition and heads into the September 7 decider against Southern Power in Blacktown in fine form.

The goal-sneak has kicked an astounding 63 goals from just 14 appearances in 2014, some 25 more than her nearest rival. This achievement is quite remarkable considering Stanton is just 15-years-old and playing her first year of senior football.

AFL runs in the family for Stanton, who has played the game since 2006.

‘‘My mum is from Melbourne and my father played football when he was younger so I grew up in a footy family,’’ she said.

‘‘I guess it was natural for me to have an interest in the game.’’ 

Stanton admits playing against women twice her age and size was overwhelming initially, but not now.

‘‘I guess I was really hesitant at first but the girls in my team are so lovely so I don’t mind at all. As a forward I guess it isn’t as physical so I avoid the brutal side of it all, thankfully,’’ Stanton said.

For anyone fortunate enough to have witnessed the unassuming, fleet-footed full forward in action, you cannot help but imagine the hours of practice that must go into the sharp shooter’s preparation. Stanton says it is quite the opposite.

‘‘To be honest the only time I kick the footy is on game day,’’ she laughed.

The footballing world is at her mercy but Stanton plays AFL for the love of the game.

‘‘I did play for NSW a while ago but I’m not really interested in playing representative football. All I want to do is have fun when I play sport with people I enjoy playing with,’’ she said.

It is those very reasons that have endeared the Wollongong Saints to her.

‘‘The people are the best thing about our team by far.’’ The Wollongong Saints take on Southern Power on Sunday, September 7 at Blacktown International Sports Park from 10am.

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