Lynsey success in Oz
Aussie rules player out to make history
A Cambuslang Aussie Rules star reckons Great Britain have the squad to write their name into the sport’s history books.
Lynsey Torrance, 41, is one of nine Scots which make up the 30 members of the Great Britain team who are competing for the first time at the 2017 Australian Football International Cup.
The former Cairns Primary and Cathkin High pupil, who was only introduced to the sport two years ago, is part of the defence which has already kept a clean sheet in the team’s first game of the tournament in Melbourne.
A solid 142-0 victory over Pakistan shot The Swans to the top of their group of four which also includes Canada and Fiji.
Speaking to the Reformer from her base in the state of Victoria, Lynsey spoke of her exciting first few days in the competition.
She said: “This is the third tournament for the women’s game which started in 2012. It gets played alongside the men’s game here but it’s the first time we’ve come over to compete.
“On Sunday we played Pakistan. It was the first time they were competing so they are a relatively new team. It was almost a training session but they were lovely to play with, it is a very friendly sport and we’re all out to help each other.”
She continued: “I think we have a really good chance of winning.
“I’m one of the older ones, most of the guys are in their teens or early 20s. It’s quite physical but it’s a running sport, you need to be strong and there’s lot of tackling involved.
“There are some strong teams out there. GB are a pretty strong and nippy team but Fiji will be really tough. They’ve got a real physical team and a lot of them play for the rugby sevens national team.
“We play three games and to qualify we need to win two of those to put us into the semi-finals.”
Similar to rugby, Australian football is a contact sport played between two teams of 18 players on an oval-shaped field.
The main way to score points is by kicking the oval-shaped ball between two tall goal posts and players can use any part of their bodies to move the ball. Throwing the ball however, is not allowed and players must not get caught holding it.
Lynsey was involved in sport from a young age but developed her love for Aussie Rules after playing for Cartha Queen’s Park Rugby Club.
She is now heavily involved in the Glasgow Sharks football team and made The Swans squad after a successful trial.
Lynsey explained: “Whilst I was at
uni I was a door steward and one day my friend ran and jumped on me and I caught her. She said, ‘Wow, you’re really strong, you should play rugby’. So then I went along to watch and I thought, ‘I didn’t even know women played rugby’. I then went along to training that week and absolutely loved it.
“I started playing Aussie rules two years ago because my friend asked me. I had memories of watching it on Channel Four but didn’t know much about it so I thought I’d come down and try it.
“I thought, ‘this is the weirdest sport in the world, they don’t pass it as such, they punch it’. It was like I needed to learn a new sport all over again but I’m glad I decided to give it a go.”
Each player in the GB squad self-funded themselves to play in the competition. Lynsey thanked her uncle John McKillop who helped raise more than £2000.
Keep up to date with Lynsey’s progress at http://www.afl.com.au/ internationalcup/fixture/
Sports mad Lynsey (second from left) is also a dedicated rugby player with Cartha Queen’s Park The thick of it Lynsey (right) and her friend after training with the GB team