Ellie Kellock’s first taste of footy – aside from a backyard kick and tackle with older brothers Sam and Matt and sister Annie – was as a five-year-old on Burra oval.
She may have been half the size of most of the other kids on the field, but it did not stop her from pulling on a guernsey and getting in there.
It is that same gutsy determination that has seen Ellie, 23, move through the ranks at Glenelg Football Club to be named captain of the club’s women’s team for 2021.
“I’m honoured to be pulling on the number five which is the club tradition and a nod to Glenelg great, Peter Carey, and to follow in the footsteps of Cass Hartley (the club’s inaugural women’s captain) and Chelsea Packer,” she said.
“I’ve been with the club for the full five years of the women’s program and each year I’ve progressed up in the leadership group and now I’ve had the opportunity to take the next step into the captaincy role.”
Glenelg FC women’s senior coach Jason Fairall announced Ellie’s captaincy last week.
“I am proud that the playing group and coaches have selected Ellie Kellock to be our captain,” he said.
“She is an inspirational on field leader and general. She is tough and plays hard, but fair. She gives her all and sets high standards, and the team follows her lead.”
Ellie said following a difficult 2020, with COVID-19 interruptions and a focus on player welfare, she felt the team was now “the fittest we’ve ever been and looking forward to the season”.
Despite her first real taste of footy as just a ‘tot’ in Burra, Ellie’s priority was netball as a child, until she moved to boarding school and was given another opportunity, this time in women’s footy.
“When I came to Sacred Heart College in Adelaide I played a game there and then was invited along to Morphettville Park Football Club in year nine,” she said.
“I progressed through, played some state footy and when the AFL women’s league started up was training with the Crows squad for a while before being zoned to Glenelg, which suited me really well.”
Parents Jane and Greg are among Ellie’s most loyal supporters, often in the crowd to watch her league games.
“Mum and dad travel down from Farrell Flat to watch me play pretty regularly, which is a great support,” Ellie said.
Despite moving into league footy, local sport remains in Ellie’s blood and she relishes the opportunity to get back to Burra-Booborowie-Hallett (BBH) Football Club at every opportunity.
“Our family has lived and breathed the footy club there – we were pretty much born and bred in the footy complex it felt like,” Ellie jokes.
“I like to get back there as much as I can. With my season being a bit earlier than the North Eastern, it means I can get to some of the games in the back half of the BBH season.”
The SANFLW pre-season is in full swing, with trial matches already under way ahead of the season scheduled to commence in the last week of February.