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.
Playing Australian football for seven years now, Stacey Hughes is an experienced campaigner of the sport and a real driving force behind women’s footy in Scotland.
From a friend inviting her down to a training session in 2012, Stacey who was an already passionate Gaelic football and soccer player, turned all of her attention to the Australian game and has never looked back.
“It is such an exciting, fast paced sport with many interesting skills to master,” said Stacey.
Since making Aussie Rules her priority sport, Stacey has helped the growth of women in the game as well as grown her own skills.
2019 has been an important year for the Scottish women’s players with the inaugural season getting underway and giving a chance for women to play the sport they love in an official competitive sense.
Captain of the Glasgow Sharks, Stacey had a great year reading the play from defence and her side after making it to the Grand Final last weekend, took out the trophy and were premiers in the first official season of the AFL Scotland Women’s competition.
“It is exciting times in Scotland that a number of women playing and the number of clubs which have a women contingent is increasing. There are now tournaments in Europe which are only for women’s team’s and the women’s competition is no longer playing second fiddle to the men’s competition.”
“Throughout Europe there are now more tournaments appearing for both the men’s and women’s teams. I think this shows the growth of the sport and gives more teams more opportunities to play Aussie Rules which can only be good for the future of the game,” said Stacey.
Stacey’s love for the game has grown exponentially and her efforts to play the game have been at an all time high in recent years.
Travelling from Glasgow to Wimbledon in London, Stacey has made this trip on countless occasions to play some matches in the AFL London league with the Wimbledon Hawks.
Now the Captain for the Glasgow and Scotland sides, Stacey is putting her teaching background into another use being able to relate to all types of people and teach people the skills she has been able to develop over the years.
Representing Great Britain at the 2016 European Championships and the 2017 International Cup are some of her biggest achievements, while personally Stacey sees the Champions League event as one of her favourite places to play the game.
“My favourite place to play would have to be Amsterdam where I’ve played in the Champions League in two occasions. The set up there is fantastic, with such a fun day and a great standard of footy,” said Stacey.
Through her efforts to reach out to women to grow the Scottish women’s league to her leadership of many teams, Stacey Hughes is an amazing ambassador of the game and any club would be lucky to have her around.
With a great year already, building the league and a successful year in defence for her respective sides Stacey will continue to have an exciting future in the sport.
Special thanks to Belushi’s for helping grow the game in Europe