Lynsey suc­cess in Oz

Aussie rules player out to make his­tory

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Mur­ray Spooner

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

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