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Future Generation: Ellie Brush

Emma Macdonald

As a sporting role model, Ellie Brush provides double the motivation and aspiration.

Not only is she an Australian women’s soccer star, but she is one of a handful selected to play internationally in the National Women’s Soccer League in the US.

And this year Ellie moved into representative Australian rules football in the AFL Women’s. Some weekends she plays both codes at once.

The qualified physiotherapist, who studied at Charles Sturt University, joined Canberra United for their inaugural season in 2008 and has captained the team ever since, including the 2012 season when Canberra United took home the W-League premiership.

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She was called up to the Matildas in 2009 and 2012 and has notched more than 100 W-League appearances. In 2015 she signed with The Houston Dash. And then, this year, she signed to the AFL. A new game, new team, new rules, and completely different ball shape!

It’s taking a lot of effort to align Ellie’s training and game schedule, but, as ever, she is juggling multiple balls very well indeed.

Round ball or oval?

Both for the time being or as long as I can! The other side to that is that hopefully it’s sooner rather than later that both are full time professional sports for females and I’m forced into picking one!

Why do you think women’s representative sport lags so far behind men’s?

It’s still ingrained in the culture that professional sport is a men’s domain. There hasn’t been the investment or promotion in women’s sport until very recently with AFLW, netball and cricket. The success of these seasons goes to show that people will actually support women’s sport in droves and it will be a commercial success.

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Are women and men any different when they are on the field?

We are all athletes and have the same mentality of competing relentlessly to win at all costs. There’s obvious physical differences but we don’t compete against each other so it’s pointless comparing the two. Women’s sport should be viewed in its own right rather than being compared to men’s.

How do you maintain momentum to train after a crushing defeat?

Finding motivation after a defeat is not hard – if anything you are more driven to get back in the training paddock, fix the things you need to fix and bounce back.

Read the entire Future Generation series here

Photography by Martin Ollman

This article originally appeared as part of our Future Generation editorial in Magazine: Future for Winter 2017, available for free while stocks last. Find out more about Magazine here

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Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald has been writing about Canberra and its people for more than 20 years, winning numerous awards for her journalism - including a Walkley or two - along the way. Canberra born and bred, she’s fiercely loyal to the city, tribally inner-north, and relieved the rest of the country is finally recognising Canberra’s cool and creative credentials. More about the Author

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