Bremner unveiled as new Dragons skipper

WHERE THE HEART IS: Helensburgh star Same Bremner has been named Dragons skipper ahead of the inaugural NRL Women's Premiership. Picture: Sylvia Liber
WHERE THE HEART IS: Helensburgh star Same Bremner has been named Dragons skipper ahead of the inaugural NRL Women's Premiership. Picture: Sylvia Liber

NEW Dragons skipper Sam Bremner has long been the face of the women's game, but it's still a spin-out when she's recognised in public – most often these days by the thousands of girls who idolise her.

It's why schoolgirls in the Illawarra now contest the Sam Bremner Shield and she can't go anywhere in the game without being swamped by young fans.

Well-spoken and articulate, the new club's newest leader is well equipped to deal with the attention, but it never ceases to amaze her.

“Sometimes it gets a little bit overwhelming but I've had to remind myself why I play the sport and it's just for the fun and the love it,” Bremner said.

“That's why I started in the first place so, if I am ever recognised, I try and use that to my advantage to help women and little girls play rugby league because I was unable to when I was a young girl.

“I try to use it to my favour and help them along the way.”

Having lent that profile to the Dragons bid for inclusion in the inaugural NRL Women's Premiership, it came as no surprise that she was unveiled as the club's first captain on Friday. 

Fittingly for the proud Helensburgh product, it came with Stanwell Park Beach as a backdrop, but its seeming inevitability did nothing to dilute the honour. 

“I'd just finished training so I was a bit hot and bothered,” Bremner said of the moment Daniel Lacey told her she would run out with the c next to her name.

“Lacey came over and said he wanted to discuss something with me and you normally think you're in trouble when you hear that. He asked me a few things and asked me how I'd feel about captaining the side.

“I couldn't really believe it, it was a big enough honour to wear the red v for me and captaining the side is just a huge bonus. I'm extremely happy, I was just driving down here now with a huge smile on my face.

“I'm very honoured, this is where it all started for me, it's where I grew up and started playing rugby league.

“The thought that I would play for an NRL side…I didn't think that'd happen, let alone lead and captain the side, so it's a great day for me and I can't wait for it all to begin.”

While the first women's NRL competition will be a step into the unknown, Bremner says she won't be changing her approach despite carrying the weight of leadership.

“Obviously I have a lot of trust in the coaching staff who believe I have the characteristics to help lead the side,” she said.

“That just happened with me being myself and being true to myself so I don't really plan on changing anything. The best thing about this experience is that it's completely new to me, every aspect of it is new.

“I think the most important thing is to focus on one thing at a time and my focus will be on playing the best football I possibly can for my teammates.

“That's the sort of person I am and that's the sort of people my teammates are. We're all or nothing and I'm going to make sure I put everything I have into it.”

Her appointment seemed fait accompli, but Dragons women's coach Daniel Lacey said Bremner's efforts to earn the club captaincy can't be overstated.

“There's all those factors that come into it being a new competition and all the firsts but nothing's been a token position,” Lacey said.

“It's the same with Sammy, she's earned the right to be there as captain. It might look like an obvious [appointment] to some people but I see the work she does off the field as well. 

“She's a very humble person, I don't think she realises how good she is, and for her to show her loyalty to our [Illawarra] area and our club, that's of huge benefit for us.

“They compare her to the Billy Slaters, that's all been said before, she's got the speed and now she's got the experience to go with it and I think the best is yet to come from her.”