FOR some football is about being the best you can be, but for Lorianne Lowerson, or “Loz” as she is affectionately known around the Sunraysia Women’s Football League, it’s about playing for her club and teammates.
And week in, week out Lowerson does this.
Lowerson’s more often than not one of the best players for her team, the Werrimull Football and Netball Club, each weekend, and after last fortnight’s interleague match between Broken Hill and Sunraysia, she was named as best on ground.
As a footballer on field Lowerson’s determined and tough, she’s competitive and driven.
She’s the type of player who you never question isn’t giving it everything she’s got and she’s as tough as they come.
Even after copping a head knock earlier in the season, which saw her miss a couple of games, Lowerson was like a caged tiger wanting to get back out there, but knowing the seriousness of the situation, bided her time. She’s the first to admit she hates watching from the sidelines.
Off field Lowerson is humble, she can be quietly spoken, and she is always the first person to lend a hand to anyone or everyone.
For example, Lowerson’s still in charge of looking after and washing the girl’s football jumpers after each match, even though numerous other people have offered to do it. It’s her thing – and, being in Lowerson’s hands, you know the job will be done.
But who is Lowerson, what drives her ambition on the football field and how did she even come to be out there each Saturday, kicking around the Sherrin for her beloved Magpies?
Mildura Weekly found out.
“I started playing in the first season of the Sunraysia Women’s Football League and the opportunity to finally play the game I love to support and watch did it for me,” Lowerson said.
“I played a bit of tennis but basketball was my main sport from age nine or 10 to 20 years old.
“I loved watching the footy and growing up in Melbourne I was at just about every home Collingwood game but never had the opportunity to play.”
When the SWFL was formed ahead of the 2016 season, Lowerson was looking for a team, and jotted down her name after a game of AFL 9s.
“I ended up at Werrimull after writing my name down on a big bit of paper under Jorja Rowe’s name,” Lowerson said.
“Jorja and I played school footy together at Mildura Senior College and was the only person I knew.
“And I decided I would definitely prefer to play along side of her rather than against her.”
Six years on, Lowerson is one of the leaders of the Werrimull team, and one of the most respected and talented in the league.
“What I love about football is the emotion and passion that comes with it,” Lowerson said.
“The knowledge and love for the game that coaches and current and past players have and want to share is infectious.
“The camaraderie, the strategy and how players just put their body on the line for each other and their team is next level, the whole team having to perform and not just relying on one person really makes it the game to play.”
Lowerson moved away from Mildura to pursue football at a higher level in 2018, but she discovered what drives her wasn’t the ability to play at the highest level possible.
“My team means everything to me,” she said.
“They’re my family and they’re the reason I play football.
“Moving away from Sunraysia to try and make it in VFL/AFLW I learned the hard way why I play football.
“And it’s not to achieve the highest level I could; I play for my family and the love of community football.
“And I wouldn’t trade the experience of finding that out for anything.”
A cheerleader for female footballers across the league, and in general, Lowerson said although AFLW wasn’t for her, she can’t wait to see other local players become the best they can be and reach such success.
For Lowerson though, her football highlight was playing her first season of football locally and winning the inaugural premiership.
“That was one of the hardest games I’ve ever played in,” she recalled.
“Bambill were tough and determined and to hear that final siren, to win the game was completely overwhelming.”
Lowerson’s been constant in past interleague teams – and in the most recent hit out, this was no different.
After the game she was picked by the umpires as the best on ground.
“It was a very humbling and proud moment,” Lowerson said of the recognition.
“I love interleague and the opportunity to play along side players I line up against each week.
“There’s also a different motivation behind how hard you play, knowing there are very deserving players that miss out, makes you want to do them proud.
“I pushed so hard until my body couldn’t take it anymore.”
The local interleague team defeated Broken Hill by 10 points that night, and it’s the bright future of females playing football that excites Lowerson.
“We have a lot of years to catch up on the men’s and I think people forget that a lot of girls are given a basketball or netball when they’re growing up, where as boys are born with a Sherrin in their hand,” Lowerson said.
“The culture is finally starting to change because we’re breaking and changing the norm.
“The passion that women’s teams display is on another level because I feel we were deprived of the opportunity to do what we love for so long.
“Once the skill and understanding of the game grows through the women’s league we will be unstoppable to make women’s footy into whatever we want.
“I can’t wait until women playing AFL are starting to earn the equivalent of their male counterparts for all their dedication and hard work they put in.
“And the same locally.”
But what about what makes Lowerson want to give it her all every match?
Lowerson has said she plays for her teammates, but what or who inspires her?
“I draw inspiration from a lot of different places,” she explained.
“In the interleague match, Jason Wilkie really inspired me to play as hard as I did.
“Our Werrimull coach, Matt Carter, inspires me each week and also my team mates.
“Even just watching Friday night footy the day before the game inspires me to get up and about each Saturday.”
By ZOEY ANDREWS.
PICTURED: Loz and her biggest supporter – her Mum Julie.