Hannah Dunn’s 100 game milestone
Hannah Dunn becomes first female to play 100 Australian rules games for Queanbeyan Tigers Football Club
Photo: Jay Cronan
By Gemma Varcoe, Queanbeyan Age sports journalist. Republished with permission of the Queanbeyan Age. First published in the Queanbeyan Age, 14 July 2016.
Queanbeyan Tigerettes captain Hannah Dunn will play her 100th match in the black and gold this weekend, making her the 83rd member of the ‘100 Club’ and the first female to meet the milestone.
“Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be the first one,” Dunn said.
“But it’s a privilege, an honour, and I’m pretty proud to be the first woman to get there.”
Dunn will join 82 existing faces on the Queanbeyan Tigers ‘Wall of Fame’, a wall that includes the likes of Ron ‘Chook’ Fowlie, Tony Wynd, Mark ‘Merv’ Armstrong, Michael Goiser and Bob Griffin. (Correction – this paragraph is meant to refer to the wall of 100 Club members seen pictured behind Hannah. The Tigers “Wall of Fame” is a separate recognition of players and officials and is currently being redesigned to return to the refurbished Tigers Licensed Club in the coming months).
“I don’t even know what to say,” Dunn said of her inclusion.
“Looking at the wall, I recognise a lot of faces up there but I guess I don’t feel like I’m worthy of it when I look at them.”
The 24-year-old has proven that worth through her consistent ACT representative selections and is a foundation player of the club, having been a Tigerette since their inaugural season in 2010. Back then, the team struggled to string together victories and had issues retaining players. But under Dunn’s leadership, they have won the last three division two premierships and are set for a division one berth in 2016, currently sitting third on the ladder.
“We have been able to build a foundation now that we are getting the same players back every year,” Dunn said.
“Whereas for the first three years, we would get flogged every game and every year we would lose half of the team.
“We’re currently third on the ladder and need to make top four for division one. After that hopefully we can get into finals.”
With a national women’s AFL competition on the horizon and an influx of high-brow women’s football coaching flooding regional Aussie rules nurseries, Dunn has watched the quality of the female game in Queanbeyan and Canberra “skyrocket” over her tenure.
“Especially this year – they have really gotten into it and developed this academy [the GWS Giants Academy Program] where you have people from nearly every single club representing,” she said.
“There have also been a lot of upsets this year, and I think that shows that the quality of football has skyrocketed right across AFL Canberra.”
Five years ago, AFL Canberra women’s representative head coach Adrian Pavese predicted that Dunn would be the first Tigerette to reach the 100 game milestone and upon confirmation, the coach lauded Dunn’s penchant for perseverance in the face of adversity.
“I think Hannah epitomises what female football is all about in regards to her desire and want to succeed, and her passion to improve, which is what she has certainly done since day one,” he said.
“Whenever you want to stress to girls that you have to keep working hard, you use Hannah as an example.”
Hannah Dunn’s 100th game will take place on Saturday, July 16, against the Ainslie Tri-Colours from midday at Allinsure Park.