Vivacious, inclusive, spritely. Tenacious, unrelenting and fiercely determined.
Since joining the Falcons as an effervescent, dark-brown-haired 15-year-old, Gena has grown up surrounded by a host of inspiring and sought after footy heads.
Gena, Gen, GLT has seen both great success and hardship at every level she has played – from missing out on playing in Premiership games, to a 2014 Grand Final BOG performance in the Darebin u19s premiership, and of course, playing on the Marvel stadium deck in the 2017 VFLW premiership.
Gen’s inclusivity and generous nature, coupled with her determination and tenacity has seen off-field success as well. As a midwife, Gen constantly cares for others. It was not uncommon to see Gen scoot off at the end of training – hair in a tidy albeit sweaty bun – with her hospital uniform dangling from her backpack, speeding off to night shift. Her commitment to various teams in her life is unwavering.
When I think about the club culture that has welcomed many aspiring and community footballers throughout the years, I cannot help but think that Gen has played a large part in that. Whether it was always being at a social function, or her dad Rob sitting on the boundary – armed with his camera, rain, hail or shine – documenting the highs and lows of our trials and tribulations, Gen and the Lawson-Tavans have been at every turn.
Gen has been a train-on at a number of Victorian AFLW clubs over the last few years, impressing those who she came up against and those who were watching on. It is no surprise that her hard work and dedication to her craft has seen a VFLW Rising Star Nomination in 2017. Her guidance and passion has seen her in the Falcons VFLW leadership group since 2019, holding the Vice Captaincy in 2022.
Our backline saw a lot of the ball in 2021. With Gen taking charge it was no surprise to see her awarded the Falcons VFLW Best and Fairest runner-up, and again in 2022, an apt reward for her defensive efforts.
So it is no wonder to anyone who has been at, or around the Falcons, that we finally see Gen add “AFLW athlete” to her already-exciting footy resume.
And so the Falcons spread their wings even further into NSW, where Gen joins four other former Falcon folk – Rebecca Privitelli, Lauren Szigeti, Molly Eastman and Bridie Kennedy – to finally have her shot at showing the rest of the AFLW community what she has – and what the Falcons have known for so long.
Gena is a reliable and experienced defender. She has the ability to provide composure and leadership in the backline, run and carry attack and can also shut down a variety of key forwards. This versatility as a defender coupled with the ability to be moved around into other positions will be an asset to Sydney. Gena’s Falcon Family are so excited for her and look forward to seeing what new levels she can take her game to in the AFLW. Congratulations Gena.
Gena has worked hard for this opportunity, and I am so happy that her dreams have finally come true. I have been lucky enough to play alongside Gena for a number of years and it has been so exciting to watch Gena develop from a teenager into club leader, and I could not be prouder of the person and player she is today. Good luck at Sydney Gen!
Gen, as you continue on from the Falcons as the effervescent, brown-haired 25-year-old we know and love, we can’t wait to watch you shine – with your inspiring and sought after footy head.