Jordyn Allen has found herself in the local emergency department more times than she can remember.
After trying her hand at ballet and horse riding but not enjoying either activity, Allen followed in the footsteps of her brother and found her passion in motocross — competing in the sport for seven years.
Although football and motocross overlapped at stages, countless injuries and the financial burden of racing led Allen to focus on playing football from the age of 12.
“I had to stop after I had ended up in hospital too many times with broken bones. That’s when I decided to give it away,” she told AFLPlayers.com.au after being taken by Collingwood with the fifth selection in the AFL Women’s draft.
A broken collarbone at the age of nine was the worst injury she experienced but it was the repeated visits to the local hospital that worried her parents the most.
Selected in the Dandenong Stingrays side from the age of 12, the demands of football quickly began to ramp up for Allen as female involvement in the sport began to grow rapidly.
The talented midfielder played state representative football from the age of 13 but it wasn’t until the announcement of the AFLW competition that Allen thought her football could take her anywhere.
“When I started playing football it was about going as far as I could in the pathway,” she said.
When the AFL announced the league would initially launch in 2020 it became something Allen would endeavour towards, focussing on fine tuning her football.
“Seeing people like Smitty (Katherine Smith) and Izzy Huntington getting drafted, those people that I had played footy with, it made it a lot more personal and made me want to pursue it even more knowing how much they enjoy their footy at an AFLW club.”
The former Dandenong Stingrays captain spent the year playing with the Casey Demons in the VFL, honing her craft from the likes of Kate Hore and former Victorian teammate Katherine Smith.
“It was awesome to link up with Smitty again. I had played a fair bit of footy with her through Vic Metro and she was someone who I had always looked up to,” Allen said.
“It couldn’t have better prepared me for what to expect at an AFLW club.”
Allen won’t start training with Collingwood until pre-season begins on November 14 but last season’s rising star Chloe Molloy has already taken her under her wing.
“Chloe’s been really amazing, she’s reached out to all of us and I’m feeling really welcome so it’s been great.”
Until then, Allen is focussing on completing her VCE studies with her final exam the day before her pre-season campaign as an AFLW players begins.