Fans Players

The reason I voted for Chelsea Randall

As voted by her peers, Chelsea Randall has won the AFLW Players’ Most Courageous Player Award for the third year in a row, proudly presented by The Line.

One of her contemporaries, Melbourne player Meg Downie pens an exclusive column about the reason she voted for Randall for Most Courageous.

This year, I voted for Chelsea Randall as the Most Courageous Player, and for a number of reasons.

Chelsea has often stood out to me as someone who has always played a strong and courageous style of footy, and being a defender myself, I have always had a level of respect for her.

It’s the way she conducts herself on the field and plays the game — she’ll always go hard at the ball and is a four-quarter player.

You gain respect for those sorts of players who can maintain that consistent level of performance throughout big games.

My perspective from playing against Chelsea and watching her over the last few years is that she is a player that stands up when the team needs her the most, and that is probably the key reason why so many players respect her so much.

It is easy to be a great player when everything is going well on the field, but it is when you’re in those crunch moments, or when you’re down in the third quarter and doubt creeps into people’s minds that the best stand up.

Chelsea seems to be the sort of player that finds those moments, stands up and displays her courage.

Courage is about challenging yourself and showing strength in the face of a challenge. It’s about coming back from setbacks and not giving up when times are tough.

It isn’t just about how you conduct yourself on the field and taking big hits and plucking big marks, courage is also being strong enough to put yourself second and put others ahead of you.

Chelsea displays great leadership and has an effective way of communicating with her team. Those around her seem to respect her immensely, not just her team mates but also fellow AFLW players.

One other thing I’d say every time I have seen her talk at a function or event, she has a degree of modesty about her which is an admirable quality. She is a great player, and appears to be the type of person who has remained grounded despite all her achievements and accolades.

As a fellow defender, the thing that I love about her game is her ability to read the play and position herself really well. She has such a great closing speed, she can afford to stand off her player and read where the ball is going to land, and if she can’t get there first she can still come in and make an impact.

After winning the AFLW Most Courageous Player Award three years in a row, I believe Chelsea Randall is worthy of having the award named after her.

Her name is now put up in lights next to the likes of Paul Kelly, Jonathan Brown, Joel Selwood and Glenn Archer as players who have won at least three Most Courageous awards.

It is an incredible achievement that her teammates and her peers think so highly of her and the way she conducts herself.

She is an amazing role model for a lot of young people — boys and girls. If it were named the Chelsea Randall Award, I think anyone who accepted it in the future would be honoured to follow in the footsteps of such a courageous individual who has set such a brilliant standard.