"Everyone started pissing themselves laughing" - Mayo's Sarah Rowe on getting to grips with Aussie rules 5 months ago

"Everyone started pissing themselves laughing" - Mayo's Sarah Rowe on getting to grips with Aussie rules

Sarah Rowe went from ladies football to the AFL last season and it's safe to say it was a shock.

The Mayo footballer has returned from Australia in a blaze of glory. Not only did she receive a coveted award for rookie of the year but she was also offered a two-year permanent contract with her club, Collingwood. It's not surprising that the team are keen to keep the talented footballer, Rowe started every game with the Magpies during an admittedly disappointing season and despite the results, it seems the 23-year-old is an asset they're willing to fight for.

A two-year professional contract sounds like the dream to every amateur athlete but the draw of home and playing for Mayo was insurmountable so she turned it down, deciding instead to juggle both.

On paper, Rowe has taken the transition from Gaelic football to the AFL in her stride but on episode 2 of our brand new sports show PlayXPlay, she admits that at first it wasn't plain sailing and at times it was the basic rules that were the most jarring.

Suddenly she was going from a sport where she could only be tackled when she was playing the ball, to a game where she could be jumped on from behind and dragged to the ground, playing the ball or not.

"The first week in training someone came in from behind me, I hadn't a clue. I got absolutely crunched," she said.

Listen in at 10.10 below to hear Sarah's struggles with new rules and in particular one moment which had her teammates in stitches... we think it's a valid point.

 

For the summer months it's back to training and Mayo for Sarah before heading back for Collingwood's 2020 campaign, as she says herself she's not willing to give up the pies just yet.

Who says you can't have it all?

You can watch the full PlayXPlay show with Jenny Murphy and Dublin footballer Niamh McEvoy  here.