When we speak of footballers inspiring others, we often think of young Auskickers trying to emulate their idols.
Signed footballs and guernseys become prized possessions, and every weekend eyes are glued to the field hoping to see a miraculous moment which leads to a team win.
But the influence of players such as SUNS skipper Gary Ablett and vice-captain Tom Lynch transcends far beyond the sea of number 9 and 19 junior guernseys evident at Metricon Stadium each week.
While it may seem cliché, Leah Kaslar, captain of the women’s Gold Coast SUNS squad says Ablett and Lynch are her sporting idols.
“Both outstanding role models, you can tell the effort they put into preparing themselves for games, and the way that they carry themselves in public is a real credit to them,” she told SUNS TV on Wednesday.
The work rate and dedication Kaslar identifies in her male counterparts is something she has seen replicated within the women’s AFL competitions recently.
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“I think that the effort the girls put in is something to really be admired,” she said.
“At the moment girls AFL is unpaid, but we do play at an elite level.
“That preparation has resulted in greater skill level and obviously increased interest in the women’s game so it all does pay off.”
Originally lending her athleticism to basketball, over the past decade Kaslar has uncovered not only a talent for AFL, but a passion for the game as well.
“I was originally playing basketball and I actually got fouled out a bit and the captain of the basketball team said you’d love AFL,” she said.
“I’ve not looked back, been playing for almost 10 years now.”
Kaslar will captain the Women’s Gold Coast SUNS team against the Women’s Brisbane Lions team this Saturday as a curtain closer game at the Gabba.