Lori Stepnell - My Redan Story
What are some of your earliest memories growing up playing football?
All started when I was about six, my brother was playing Auskick I really wanted to play and be just like him then followed him into the boys football until I was too old to play.
Who or what was it that attracted you to join Redan?
Started my juniors at Ballarat Swans but Redan had a women’s team when I was too old for 18s, I decided to follow my friends play with them at Redan haven't left haha.
Tell us about some of the highlights of your time in the junior divisions?
Growing up playing boys football was the highlight looking back now how much women’s football has evolved is amazing! Under 18s was a blast, had so much fun being the top team. Haven't lost a game for years until my last year against Redan we lost the granny for the first time! Biggest highlight is playing Vic metro u16 and 18s from the age of 15 till I was 18 was amazing.
What can you recall of the 2018 Senior Grand Final and just how much of a thrill was it to be part of Redan’s first Senior Women’s premiership?
It really was the best feeling we worked so hard as a team on and off the field we played out heart out every game even if we where winning by heaps we were always switched on and winning the granny made our hard work worth it!
Who are some of the coaches who have had helped you along the way?
Had so many, everyone of them were amazing! But my dad was my number one coach in my younger days, he still is the hardest critic haha. My Vic metro coach Andrew Jago believed in me so much showed me that I was that 1% no one had. My Essendon coach Brendon Major is hard on me but he’s brought the footballer I am out today.
Who are some of the best five players you’ve played alongside at Redan and your toughest opponent?
Hayley Smith - she’s a gun midfielder natural player always a good role model on and off the field
Shannon Simpson - she’s a fit Ruck that never runs out of fuel she can run a whole game without even being buggered, one of the best rucks in the league.
Amy McDonald - she’s a gun natural gun she always looks like she’s dancing through players!
Jessica Bokma - she hasn’t played for a year but she’s a gun forward never drops a mark never misses!
Umm this is a tough one had so many tough opponents, East Point girls hated me so made it very tough!
Describe yourself as a player.
Well I'm a sore loser hate losing it’s the worst! But always up for a laugh on and off the field all rounder footballer can play anywhere. Just eat, sleep, breathe football ever since I was little. Don't stress ever about if I’m going to make it or not, always make sure I have fun.
What have been some of the other main highlights of your time with Redan?
Winning the best on ground medal for the 100 games of women football, winning the Grand final!, Came runners up league best and fairest and club, just such an amazing club.
Redan have had a number of players drafted to AFLW in recent years, what do you think are some of the main reasons for this?
Just the all round country footballers Redan have it’s the 1% most people don’t have unless you’ve played it, Redan push everyone to the best and make sure you get the most out of your talent.
What has your experience been like to date with the Essendon VFLW side?
Such amazing experience being picked to play every week and run out on such amazing ovals with amazing people that push you to be you what your good at. Main thing my coach taught me was just have fun, yes I was nervous. The girls are massive but made me work harder but enjoy it ,best experience learning things like the lingo for drills and plays. So funny and so much fun.
What areas of your game do you feel you need to improve on to make the step to AFLW?
Not my game, but more to be able to become a professional athlete. I need to work on my work ethic for every quarter, not burn out so quickly as a key forward player or when I’m in the ruck/mid or wherever I need to be able to change and work harder for longer but baby steps first year. I’m not too fussed on making the aflw yet I’m enjoying vflw first year done more to come my time will come for the aflw.
You’ve also been involved with Auskick at Redan, what have you enjoyed most about teaching the young girls and boys?
Just seeing more girls wanting to play at a young age I remember when I was the only girl boys would hate kicking it to girls amazing to see the boys including girls and amazing to see. Such amazing club redan is its one big family!
How have you managed this year with the Covid restrictions and no football?
As good as it gets gym at home two times a week, best personal trainer by my side Chris from RADCENTRE trains me two times a week as well. I also I run every Sunday keep the same routine so when I travel again I won’t be tired but missing the girls, can’t wait till we're back!
What is the best piece of advice you have for the girls starting their football at Redan?
Love it and enjoy playing! Redan is the best club, everyone’s family!