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.
Something that is shining through the AFLW competition in Australia are dual sport athletes, and just like those athletes, Jennifer Englisch has already shown her ability to adapt to many different sports having made a smooth transition to footy in Germany.
The AFLG Women’s league is continuing to grow and Jennifer is a large part of this growth, joining the sport for the Hamburg Dockers earlier this year.
Jennifer is not new at facing challenges, after competing in Judo professionally and also playing European Handball, she believes she can take many of her attributes into AFL and loves how versatile the sport is.
“I was looking for a new team sport where I could combine ball skills, physical strength and coordination. Spending time in Australia, I loved what I saw in the sport and wanted to get involved,” Englisch said.
Within one week of training, her teammates had convinced her to join the Hamburg Dockers at the Champions League tournament where she was able to improve each game.
Within a few months, she had improved her footballing skills at an incredible rate, and German Eagles Coach Emily McKie wanted her in their national side.
Coach Emily explains how vital Jennifer is for their team after recent success at the 2019 Euro Cup where the German Eagles won the Bronze medal. “Having a player of Jen’s calibre has been a big confidence boost for the girls. She really leads by example and has such a strong, physical presence on the field. The girls know that they can rely on her to not only win the ball and make something of it, but they also know that she will be there to support, shepherd and tackle the opposition,” McKie said.
Within only months of playing the game Jennifer has taken her sporting strengths and found even more in this sport as she looks ahead to getting even better.
“I enjoy body contact and breaking tackles. I play in the ruck and I can also jump high and tap the ball to my rovers. However, my biggest strength is my passion for the sport and my desire to continuously improve.”
Jennifer’s passion for being involved at every opportunity when playing is evident from the sidelines, and is a key attribute to Jennifer’s game that Emily values highly.
“For Euro Cup, I asked her to alternate between ruck and a loose half-back position and she did it, without question, because she just wanted to do what was best for the team,” McKie said.
Jennifer aspires to win the AFLG with the Hamburg Dockers, and would love the opportunity to play AFL in Australia. Her continued improvement and love of the game will take her a long way to achieving both of those goals in the near future.
Liam McAllion – AFL Europe
Special thanks to Belushi’s for helping grow the game in Europe