Hard work puts Shineah in Good’ stead

FOR a player with such plentiful individual honours, you would be hard pressed to find a more team oriented person than Shineah Goody. The Woodville-West Torrens talent shapes as one of, if not the top prospect in next year’s AFLW Draft crop, having taken out the Under 18 National Championship MVP as a bottom-ager.

Now, the 17-year-old is undergoing potentially her final SANFLW preseason before she becomes an AFLW player, and those at the Eagles cannot speak highly enough of her. Goody hails from Edithburgh in the Yorke Peninsula, making the trek to Adelaide to train and play, but doing a heap of work back home. It’s that kind of dedication that Eagles skipper Annie Falkenberg says Goody is lauded for internally.

“She’s just amazing, she’s a workhorse and she does it mainly from home back at her country town in Edithburgh,” Falkenberg told Rookie Me Central at the recent SANFLW preseason testing event. “She’s on the track maybe once a week, so for her to be at such an elite level and do her training on her own is just amazing.

“It shows how naturally good she is at footy. If you can imagine a whole preseason pumped into her as well, it would just take her to another level. The commitment from her is just amazing and it’s sad that we’re probably going to lose her next year to the draft, but we’ve still got another year with her.”

Goody, quietly spoken herself, often lets her footy do the talking. On top of earning MVP honours in South Australia’s undefeated title-winning side this year, she was named in the All Australian squad and even took out the SANFLW Breakthrough Player award.

She was utilised in all thirds of the ground along the way and even garnered tags from wary opposition. Though, Goody was more than happy to absorb the pressure if it meant a teammate could shine.

Shineah Goody in state colours | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

“If someone’s taking me out of the game being tagged, it opens up other players so they can use that strength to benefit our team, so I don’t really mind it,” Goody said. “Obviously not all of the teams put a tag on me, but as long as I’m playing the role within my team (I’m happy).”

Determined to get the best out of herself, Goody is on a pursuit for excellence – not just to enhance her own game, but to lift her team too. It’s fortunate, then, that the Eagles and state side have so many “assets” to feed off.

“Just being around such good girls has really helped my performance,” Goody said. “Getting into that elite environment and following how a lot of the more experienced girls go about things, what they do at training, away from training and then on game days really helped me to develop my own performance.”

Arguably no teammate or rival will be as valuable to Goody’s competitive development in 2023 than Lauren Young. The West Adelaide utility gained special dispensation to compete in last year’s Under 19 National Championship, where she matched Goody’s state MVP feat as a 15-year-old. Now, they look set to battle it out to be considered the top junior footballer in Australia.

“Lauren, she’s just a great person,” Goody said. “She’s not always that serious but that’s just who she is and she just lifts everyone up around her, which is a great (asset) to have in your team – just the enthusiasm she brings and obviously her football talks for itself with how talented she is.

“I’m just looking forward to playing alongside her, and for her to hopefully put together some good games as well after her ACL.

Lauren Young (left) and Shineah Goody during the 2022 Under 17 Futures showcase | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

“A lot of (state teammates) played SANFLW as well so we came together from all the different teams and got to learn a lot about each other; everyone’s strengths and how they want to play, and we just all mixed really well as a team together which I think helped and put us above a lot of the other states.”

Looking forward to 2023, Goody’s professional approach has her seeking to improve the one-percenters off-field, to ensure growth on-field. Her already strong running capacity is expanding, and the Woodville-West Torrens women are continuing to gel.

“I’m improving my running and off-field, just trying to do the little things like recovery and putting the right food in your body and all of that sort of stuff,” Goody said. “Hopefully from the stuff I’ve been able to do I can put together some more performances. I just want to put together some good games and probably just play consistent football.

“As a (SANFLW) team obviously we’re driving for success so I think we’ve had a really good off-season and I think we’ll be one of the top teams in the league… (we are) continuously working as a team, gelling together, knowing each others’ strengths, what they want to work on – all of that stuff and just building that connection so we can play together as a team.”

The 2023 SANFLW fixture is set to be finalised and released in the week before Christmas. Goody and her Eagles will hope to improve on the three-win campaign which saw them finish seventh this year, while an exciting national carnival also awaits the defending champions.

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