List by name and list by nature – AL is organised, scheduled, on time (early more often than not) and meticulous in most endeavours. Whether it be going to the supermarket, preparing for training or organising the many work schedules she has to do as United Physio Group’s regional manager, she’s got a routine. And a plan. And a desired result; an expectation for herself.

Her sporting career has been long and fruitful- she’s played high level softball and hockey- most recently she played for Victoria (2016) and South Australia (2017) in the Australian Hockey League. Her “having a crack” at footy began in 2017 when her friend Laura brought her down to Darebin for a training session. And then she just kept turning up.

Just before the 2017 season started, Lister bought herself a pair of boots- how exciting; first pair of footy boots! Right?


Coach Jane Lange was keeping a keen eye on the 20 metre warm up kicks and when she got to Annalyse in the line, she stopped. “Annalyse, what are those?!” “…. what? My boots? Yeah look, they feel a bit weird…” “They’re at least 1.5 sizes too big, Annalyse. Go and put your runners on.” “Yep, fair call, ok.” She kicked the ball back to me in the line and disappeared back to the change room. And that’s how Annalyse goes about things – short, sharp, to the point.

She recalls playing the first couple of rounds of the season with the NFNL Division 1 team, but knowing that it was temporary. She had a plan. A desired result. An expectation for herself. So she worked. She knew her kick and footy skills needed taming, but her work rate, running ability and effort around the contests put her on Coach Lange’s radar.

Throughout the 2017 season at Darebin, Annalyse continuously strived to earn a spot in the weekly VFLW side and then ultimately; the Premiership team alongside 14 fellow AFLW players. On the Etihad carpet, she was told to shut down Collingwood AFLW Captain Steph Chiocci. She played her role, helping to nullify one of Diamond Creek’s most skilled players.

Annalyse Lister [centre] with her 2017 Darebin premiership teammates. [PHOTO: Rob Lawson Photography]

In 2018, she played consistently, only missing a couple of rounds in the middle of the season to escape the Australian winter to Europe for a family holiday – one she remembers fondly – time spent with her parents and brother. As Annalyse opened up to GiantsTV on Monday, her dad Mark passed away from a GBM brain tumour in early May 2019.

In classic Lister fashion, she turned up to training 2 days later. She gallantly stood in front of the team she was vice-captain of, and explained that if she was a little “off”, that was why. She didn’t talk about it again in front of the group. She let her game do the talking. Valiantly poised in the face of hardship. That’s Annalyse.

The gallant composure continued throughout the season, time after time performing in games and racking up the possessions and kilometres on the ground. Her harsh but warranted leadership as VC, proved to balance the style of our captain Stephanie Simpson.

Annalyse Lister gets a kick away during the 2019 Round 15 match against Carlton. [PHOTO: Rob Lawson Photography]

Watching Annalyse juggle playing both hockey and footy was exhausting. Sometimes there would be weeks where she had no days without a type of training (much to the distaste of the strength and conditioning team). Not until the final rounds of the 2019 VFLW season, had it become apparent – to Annalyse – that footy had tipped the scales.

So whilst this February is a little different to last year, it’s for the better. It sees her playing on the grounds she’d set expectations for herself to play on, I just know that some things won’t have changed…

The Western Australian never pays for parking – she’ll park and walk a kilometre to her destination as long as there’s no money put to the councils.

Her golden retriever Charlie is the centre of her universe.

She knows how many kicks it takes before her hamstring could go.

She will still know exactly how long the traffic lights take to change, and what time the trams interrupt her commute, en route to Darebin training at Bill Lawry Oval. I’m certain it’s the same from Balmain to GWS trainings.

She’s still got a routine, a desired result, and expectations for herself.

We will see Lister take the field again today as GWS take on North Melbourne across the Bass Strait.

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