Allan to add speed to the West

A FRESH outlook and new environment has West Adelaide recruit Paige Allan excited for the 2023 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season. The former Central District talent with the aim of being able to capitalise on her main weapon, as well as reducing the travel between home and her footy training.

“West is a bit closer to home, which was a big factor,” Allan said. “Then what I was getting from Centrals as a player I felt I wasn’t able to get the best opportunity. I was looking for an opportunity to utilise my weapon which is my speed, and I think that was recognised by a few other coaches so West pointed that out and said that was something they were looking for in their side.”

Allan has been in the SANFL Women’s since it started in 2017, and has seen it grow to the point of having a reserves competition, and a full complement of state league teams.

“I’ve been in the SANFL season since 2017 so an inaugural player,” Allan said. “Even the way it’s changed over the last six or seven seasons. It’s been incredible to come and do testing and even just to have a competition with all eight teams involved.

“The first season was six games and a grand final, so it’s good to have some depth, and especially involving the Development League as well. You can see the skill level just progress every year because of the juniors coming in as well, it’s really good.”

Comfortable playing an outside role, Allan is set to take up a spot on the wing where she can instinctively use her run and carry to her team’s advantage. Along with her speed, the West Adelaide recruit said she has a “pretty good jump” and can breakthrough tackles. As for her improvements, she is looking to build on her contested game.

“It’s good to get that outlet handball and take off, but it would be good to get some more contested footy in the back pocket and use that around contests on the wing,” Allan said. “I’ve always played attacking positions in a lot of different sports, so it would be nice to focus on the defensive side of my game, so focus on rebound 50s and getting that run out of the half-back.”

When it comes to looking to an inspiration at the top level, it was hard for Allan to look past the current Crows skipper.

“I did play a season with Chelsea Randall,” Allan said. “She came out and played a season out at Salisbury Football Club when I was playing there. I just remember her taking the footy and looking like she was gliding through the field every time she got her hands on it. It’s pretty incredible watching her play and her style of footy.”

Closer to home, Allan’s older brother is one individual who has always supported her throughout her SANFL Women’s career.

“He’s always been very supportive throughout my whole footy career and always makes an effort to come out to every single one of my games and pops on whatever merch to come and support as well and brings out the little nieces with signs and everything to cheer us on so I’d say my big brother,” Allan said.

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