Each week, AFL Europe in combination with Belushi’s will take a look at one of our star players competing in fixtures across the continent in Player Spotlight.
Camille Portal has always been a lover of sport and growing up, tried her hand at countless sports, from tennis and handball to soccer and horse riding. She enjoyed them but never truly found her sporting passion until she played Australian Football.
Although she enjoyed being a part of a variety of sports, the Australian game was one that fitted her values perfectly and why she has continued to play the sport.
“When I discovered AFL, I loved it because of the team spirit, the values, because of the athletic qualities and self-improvement that this sport requires, it is a very complete sport. I feel a part of a big family and I met a lot of amazing people in this sport,” said Camille.
Thanks to a few of her friends who know Camille loves sports, she heard about Australian Football and decided to give it a go at one of France’s biggest clubs, the Paris Cockerelles.
Now with a thriving women’s team, Camille is a major part of this side, adding a combination of class and experience on and off the pitch having now played for over seven years.
Having developed into the player she is today, the many years of practice have gotten her to a high level of footy with many attributes perfect for the Australian game.
“I think my strengths are my speed, my cardio and ability to be strong in contests. I think we can always improve, we have always things to learn and work on. I try to be better for my team and for myself,” she said.
These on field qualities are perfect for any AFL team and her selflessness has helped not just herself but everyone around her to become more successful and enjoy the game.
Now one of the more experienced players in AFL Europe, Camille represented the European Crusaders in the International Cup in Melbourne 2017.
An amazing effort to make such a team and to be able to perform on the big stage, although Camille is now working hard to get a French women’s side in one of these future tournaments so that many can play with pride for their country.
Camille has improved her game each year she has played and was even selected in the 2016 Champions League Team of the Tournament. Her footy career has taken her to some amazing places around the world, yet one of the biggest games has been in her home country of France.
Representing her national side on multiple occasions now, Camille has been a part of the ANZAC Cup in Villers-Bretonneux which is extremely important to all involved and such an amazing experience.
“My favourite place where I have played is Villers-Bretonneux for the ANZAC Cup because of the commemoration, this is always very intense and moving,” she said.
“Last year, at the Anzac Cup, in a surreal moment with some other French teammates, we met the Prime Ministers of Australia and France, in a cafe after the Dawn service. They were very cool and we were able to take a selfie with them.”
Giving her all for her team in Paris, for France and in other various tournaments, Camille is someone that every sporting club would want to have as the people around her seem to become better players and people.
Camille has had a great seven years with continual improvement and help towards the growth of AFL Europe and will continue to have a great 2019.
Special thanks to Belushi’s for helping grow the game in Europe