Growing up with a surname that’s become synonymous with AFL, you’d be forgiven to think Lauren Motlop should be kicking a Sherrin, not a Steeden. But with her father a staunch rugby league man, perhaps it’s her brothers who are out of place.
Lauren Motlop debuted for the Indigenous All Stars last year after a strong performance at the Murri Carnival in 2015 and her dad became her biggest fan.
“He was heaps proud, he’s a league man and everyone else plays AFL so he was like, yeah this is better” Lauren told NITV News.
But that fatherly support took some time because whilst growing up, Lauren’s father wasn't used to seeing a place for women in sports like rugby league.
“My dad you know, he wasn’t for women playing men’s sport” she added.
But the 30-year-old managed to work her charm and changed his mind when she began coaching a youth team for the NTFL club the Wanderers.
“It showed him these girls have the same kind of talent as the men, it’s exactly the same the only difference is that we’re girls,” she said.
“It really opened his eyes and showed him how good women can be and how we can compete with the boys.”
Tonight when she takes to the field she’ll savour every moment.
“It’s always been about the boys in our families, so it’s nice this is just for me.”