Humble Koenen just keen to play her role

AFTER such a good start to the season, Brisbane’s Breanna Koenen was obviously not a happy camper after her side suffered their first loss for the season on the weekend.

“Not the result we wanted going down here, but to their credit they were really competitive, they were really physical, I think we were slow to start, so it was disappointing.”

Before the weekend’s result, Brisbane had had a stellar start to the season, and Koenen confirmed that a catalyst for that was the Preliminary Final loss to Melbourne last season.

“We learnt a lot last season, and then obviously being able to keep the majority of the group together over the off season, and really coming into this season firing and knowing what we want, just having that belief I think helped a lot. Obviously only half way so we’ve got a few more games to win before we even make finals, and then from there on, so we’ve got a bit of work to do before we think about that sort of stuff.”

Brisbane’s fitness has improved this season, which Koenen confirmed was a focus of the offseason.

“This preseason was really tough, I think we changed our focus and did a lot of short, sharp, change of direction so it was really different this year. We had Tanner Scott come on this year as our S&C to compliment Matthew Green, so they both have amazing resumes, they’re both very experience, so I think both of them combining has really put us in good stead coming into this year.”

With the increase in pay AFLW players now enjoy, it has allowed some players to focus more on footy but Koenen really enjoys her job outside of footy as a physio.

“It’s at this weird stage where you can sort of still do both. I really enjoy my job outside of footy, it gives me something else to focus rather then just being just footy centric the whole time, so I think it’s my little time away from football that I enjoy but a lot of the girls have had the opportunity to sort of focus purely on footy and really improve, and I think it really shows in the competition and the performance players are able to produce now is off the back of that. So it’s going to become harder and harder to sort of balance both, but at the moment I like being able to work as a physio outside of footy.”

Brisbane have become well known for their after goal “theme songs” for each player at home games, for example The Cranberries’ classic Zombie is played after every time Greta Bodey kicks a goal.

Koenen confirmed that each player gets to pick which song it is that gets played for them, and to use Koenen’s words, the song is normally “whatever you vibe” and is normally a pump up song.

Despite being such an integral part of the Brisbane side, Koenen does not get the accolades some of her team mates get. Koenen herself is perfectly fine with that.

“I have never been one to sort of put my hand up and jump around and I guess be the front of everything. I really enjoy seeing my team mates play great and play good footy, so at the end of the day I can support my team mates in doing what they do best I think I’ve done my job. Hopefully I can play my role at the same time, so I just go about my business back there and keep plodding along because inside the four walls my team mates really respect what I do, so I think that’s better then anything I can get from the outside.”

The weight of captaincy and the respect that comes with that doesn’t weigh as much on Koenen as it used to.

“This year less so. I’ve been more focused on myself and being able to perform and play my role for the team. It definitely has in the past and you sort of feel a weight on your shoulders sometimes to lift but I think just reminding myself I’ve got to do my job and not try and do it all is probably something I’ve learnt a lot over the last season and coming into this year. It’s definitely one of my biggest areas of improvement.”

Koenen is not the only member of her family that has made it to the top of her sport.

Her sister Cara is a Gold Medal winning netballer, having been a member of the Diamonds side that won gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games.

Koenen is a super proud big sister, and laughed after the mention of any sibling rivalry.

“It’s probably a good thing we’re in separate sports so we can actually encourage each other rather than be opposition. I’m super proud of everything she’s achieved. She’s worked really hard and to be rewarded with a Gold Medal at a Commonwealth Games is pretty amazing, but we just obviously support each other in everything we do and to have that from your siblings, even from my younger sister and brother, it’s really special.”

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