Elin Ladmore – 100 Games

Written by Lane Cove Cats

16 June 2022

On the 19th June, 2022, Elin Bridget Ladmore runs on to Blackman Park against the Penshurst Panthers for game 100 in the Cats’ colours.

In the seventy year history of the Mowbray Public School, there have no doubt been many great stories, but the greatest of them all starts with an AFL sponsored visit by a two metre giant by the name of Kurt Tippett.

Does it occur to an eight year old, that the Tippett family genes may offer certain advantages that Ladmore genes may not? No and why should it, because success in sport, as in life, is determined by far more than the length of your shinbone. In any event, to the astonishment of her parents, a young Elin returns home from school announcing her intent to play footy.

2016 marks Elin’s registration with the Lane Cove Cats and she joins the U9 Selwood team. The only girl on the team, she is welcomed by the boys and the coaches. It turns out that not only does she enjoy the game, she’s pretty good at it. A successful and enjoyable season triggers the desire to play another.

2017 harks the arrival of a girls footy team at the Cats and in March of that year, Elin is one of the Famous Five, who play the first girls match against the Mosman Swans, creating the dilemma of staying with her mates or playing with the girls. In true Elin style, she chooses both, ensuring mad Sunday dashes across Sydney when the games are on at different times and a bidding war between the coaches when there is a clash. As Elin is a year or two younger than the older girls, a pattern emerges; one season in the older girls team, followed by a season in the age group below. She becomes a bridge across the girls teams and is instrumental in one team blossoming into a youth girls program.

As a footballer, it is fair to say that Elin does not dream of being a long distance runner. She is that Queen of Queens, the Key Position Player. Her attitude to footy: “I am here and you will kick the ball to me”. A deadly right foot kick for goal and as a forward, a strong defender, who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty in defence. She is also the first to check on another player’s welfare, be they friend or foe.

Grand Final day 2020. Elin goes down late in the first quarter and gets up gingerly. The medic is called with a “strap that up mate so we can get her back on”. The response is “I think an x-ray might be a better call” and sure enough Elin’s wrist is broken. She’s devastated not to get back on the field, but doesn’t want to make a fuss and spends the rest of the match on the bench with the scribe. Elin doesn’t say much, but she’s worth a listen when she decides to grace you with a few words.

The greatest story has only just begun. The youngest ever player to hit the century for the Cats, there are plenty of seasons left and a career in senior footy beckons. The only question whether it be for her favoured Geelong Cats or a team of which her parents do approve.

Congratulations Elin on 100 games for the Lane Cove Cats.

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