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VFLW: Davie leads the way

There was a 20-year gap between Lisa Davie playing Auskick and joining a football team.

While Davie always held a liking for the sport as a youngster, the opportunity to play ceased to exist. It was not until she watched an AFLW exhibition game before the inaugural season that she realised she could be a part of the women’s football movement too.

“I thought ‘I reckon I could do that’, so I found a local team and gave it a try,” she said.

Davie, who works in construction management during the week, said she was immediately drawn to the physical demands of the game.

“You have to run, you have to jump, and tackle. You’re testing yourself in so many ways and seeing how much you can get out of yourself,” Davie said.

Now 27, Davie’s decision two years ago was better late than never, and her transition from VAFA to VFLW has been swift. Despite fracturing her fibula last year in her opening season for St Mary’s Salesian, Davie was back in 2018 to see where football could take her.

And Richmond’s VFLW side have excitedly explored the defender’s untapped potential.

Coach Tom Hunter said he was initially impressed with Davie’s trademark monster kick and her disposals when he first saw her play at the Come and Try Day in Bendigo.

Since then, Davie has become an asset to Richmond’s backline. Rarely beaten one-on-one, the Tiger is a calming influence on her teammates. She is deceptively quick, holding the side’s highest running speed for multiple weeks, and accurate under pressure.

“Her ability to get across and impact contests that she isn’t directly involved in is a big feature of her game, and she gives us drive off half-back. She’s just really reliable and solid as a player,” Hunter said.

“We’ve got such a young, new group, and Lisa’s been a real foundation of the backline. We know that she’s going to do her job and play her role, and because she does that, she supports other girls in playing their role as well.”

But it is not just Davie’s spirit on the field that has driven the standards for the rest of the side, but her spirit off the field too.

Hunter said Davie’s professionalism has propelled Richmond’s maiden side.

“So much of our year has been about building and creating habits and standards. Her and a couple of others have really been driving it in all aspects, whether it be training intensity, game day performance or recovery. She’s made the most of everything the club has to provide,” he said.

“That’s probably why we’re seeing such fantastic results in her football performance, because she’s taking everything on board and striving to get the most out of herself.”

Davie, a lifetime Tigers supporter, said she will not be taking the opportunity for granted.

“It’s been surreal. It’s something I never imagined was possible,” she said.

“I’ve been given this opportunity so I may as well do all those little things like prepping and recovering. And if I can talk to other people along the way, and give them a similar mindset, that’s beneficial for everyone.”

Richmond will travel to GMHBA Stadium on Saturday for Round 13, where they come up against Geelong at 11:30am, with the men’s VFL match to follow.

Tiger fans can follow play-by-play updates on the Richmond Women’s Twitter account

GEELONG CATS v RICHMOND
Round 13 – 04/08/2018
11:30AM
GMHBA Stadium

Richmond

B: 69. E. Burry, 63. J. Graham, 65. E. King
HB: 54. L. Bailey, 73. L. Davie, 83. J. Gardner
C: 60. K.  Dempsey, 87. G.  Egan, 88. P.  Monahan
HF: 72. J. Radnell, 70. E. Findlay, 76. E. Ross
F: 75. B. Lynch , 90. S. Damon, 78. V. Tonin
R: 68. A. Edmonds, 59. A. Woodward, 52. J. Kennedy
Int: 84. L. Bieniara, 53. K. Dixon, 64. E. Gunn, 82. T. Stahl
Emg: 85. N. Clarke, 89. G. Deller, 71. R. Edmeades, 81. E. George
23P: 92. T.Smith