Carly Twaits - My Redan Story
What are your earliest memories playing football?
I’ve always been a footy head – loved kicking the footy around with the boys since Primary School. The first opportunity I got to play competitive football was in High School, I played from Year 10 to 12 at Clarendon and loved it. We had a very successful era and won the BAS competition every year. This is where my love for the game really took off.
What first brought you to the club and in what age group did you commence your career?
I began playing the first year Redan started up the Women’s team. Tahni Nestor knew I loved footy and played a bit in high school, so said I should tag along to a training session and now I’ve never looked back.
Who were some of the pioneers of the women’s football program at Redan and what have been some of the reasons behind its success?
Garry Goyne – a massive driver in the Women’s football program and a big reason we are so successful. Gaz has always been a massive supporter of us and has helped us connect with the club.
Chris Wilson – the first coach for the Youth Girls’ team and had a massive influence on the program – he was an extremely passionate man who had a lot of care for the game, but more importantly the girls. We are lucky enough to have some of the original youth girl players back playing with us this year.
Original girls – Georgie & Erin were a part of the original Women’s team and now co-captains of the current team. These girls have been big influences on the success of the program. They have been great advocates for the team, Erin taking on various coaching roles and Georgie now on the board ensuring that the team is supported.
Tell us about your family connection to the club?
My brothers both play for the club and have played since juniors, Harry played since Under 10’s and is now playing senior footy and Billy also started with Under 10’s and is currently playing U14’s – so deep connections there.
I think Redan is a great family orientated club and it is fantastic to see a lot of boys and girls playing all the way through the junior years and continuing into the senior competitions – shows how people really value the club.
Describe yourself as a player.
Throughout High School, I predominantly played as a forward flanker and continued in this position for a little while in my early years at Redan. I have also played a range of other positions through the mid and backline.
But I’d probably describe myself as pretty versatile player and I think my skills are reliable/accurate most of the time... I’m also a very passionate and team-orientated player. I love to see others thrive!
What was it like to be a member of Redan’s maiden Senior Women’s Premiership?
It was incredible! I have been lucky enough to be quite successful in sport (netball in particular) and have won many grand finals but the 2018 win was definitely the best. We had such an amazing group of girls playing and to come home with the chocolates after such a tough game was remarkable.
The game itself was a bit of a blur, but I know it was a freezing cold Sunday night up at Mars Stadium and we played against our old rivals – East Point. We started strong kicking the first few goals and then from there it was a really tough battle. East kept coming and the girls did such an amazing job to hold them off, I think we won by just under a goal in the end.
Who are some of the coaches who have had helped you along the way?
We have seen a few coaches come and go at Redan, all who have contributed in significant ways and have helped to develop the club to what it is today.
Pete Forbes – Pete is our current coach and the one who took us all the way to glory back in 2018. He has been a very compassionate coach, very caring and a great storyteller. Has done well to continue developing the girls over the years and bringing great success to the team.
Ash ‘Davo’ Davidson – Davo had a major influence on the team a few years back, after coming from the Junior boys, he took on the challenge in tackling the Women’s team. He was a very knowledgeable coach, who really helped to improve the skills of the girls. He was influential in developing an understanding of the game – so much so that we had a few girls move onto VFL and some drafted to AFL after his coaching era.
James Couzens – Couz would have to be the coach who had the greatest impact on me, not only as a player but as a person as well. I was very fortunate to have him as my coach during high school and he really showed how footy is not just a game, but something to build character.
Fond memories would be our pre-game meetings on a Thursday at lunch, where we all receive instruction on the game but also an inspirational quote e.g., "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." – Winston Churchill. Couz brought meaning to the game, beyond what I have ever experienced. To this day I still have a book where I have collected all the quotes. He would have to be one of the most passionate people I’ve met and I’m happy to call him a friend now.
What are some of your greatest memories and achievements during your career to date?
Well, nothing really beats a grand final win, but in that same year I won the club Best and Fairest which was great – we had such an amazing team so to be recognised in that way was wonderful.
Who have been the best five players you’ve played alongside and your toughest opponent?
Soph Alexander – Extremely cool, calm and collected and a natural with ball in hand. Lucky enough to play with her through high school and at Redan for a year. Massive boot on her, kicking the winning goal from the square in grand final against Loreto!! (She was only a Year 10)
Tahni Nestor – fantastic player and person, coming from a basketball background, she just had complete control of the ball and the game.
Lori Stepnell – great person and again a natural talent. Has had some setbacks at times, but it has been amazing to see her resilience and willingness to improve herself and her game.
Maighan Fogas – A bull! One of those in and under players, amazing on her feet and around the contest.
Ellen Werts – Another natural! Coming from netball background, has become a bit of a ball magnet at times.
Claire (East Point player) – just an absolute bull that does not stop. Extremely competitive and a very skilful player.
Do you have an aspiration to become involved with coaching?
I definitely have the desire to be a coach one day – I have a lot of love and passion for the game and would really like to pass that on to young girls or boys. I truly believe that sport, football in particular, has so many fantastic attributes that can help build character in a person.
I hope that one day I can help to develop young people to not only to become good players, but good people. Hopefully, I still have a few playing years left in me before I started working towards a coaching role.
How much of an impact as the AFLW had on participation levels during your time at the club?
It has had a major impact – ever since the competition started, we have had so many girls come across to try out. Some come and go, but many end up sticking around and develop a real love for the game. Back in the first few seasons, on those icy cold nights, we would be lucky to have four people rock up to train, but now we have almost the full squad rocking up.
There’s a lot more competitiveness – not only within our team but women’s football in Victoria as well. The first few seasons we would have to travel to the other side of Melbourne for some games but now we have our own local BFLW competition which is fantastic.
Who are some of the clubs you’ve had the best rivalry with over the years?
East Point were our biggest rivals over the last few years, but it was very unfortunate to see them pull out of the competition this year. I would have to say for this season Melton Centrals and Darley are probably our toughest competition and new rivals.
What advice do you have for the girls starting their football careers at Redan?
Get in, have a crack and get involved in all aspects of this club. Throughout, my time at the club I’ve met some of the greatest people and made friends for life. It is an amazing club, so get amongst it and have FUN!