Sarah, Sanso, or more lovingly known at the Falcs as “Zinger”, is the perfect example of the skill level and footy knowledge that is coming up through the ranks at an alarming rate.

Whilst she has had both stints of cricket and tennis, Sarah has been playing football for nine years straight. She has been a part of programs that have allowed development from a young age, and she has worked hard to get where she is today. Sarah played with the boys at Bundoora Park before transitioning to St Mary’s, then her first senior team was indeed the Falcs. Sarah says her 2019 Falcon season was, put simply; good fun. “I couldn’t think of a better VFLW club to join, I enjoyed every minute I spent with the team. The club has a family vibe which I love and all the girls are absolute rippers!”

However, in 2020 we watch Sanso soar from the Falcon nest to earn her stripes at Tigerland, where she was rightly picked up in the AFLW draft at pick 40.

Sarah’s transition from NAB League into VFLW was seamless – she joined the Falcon’s back line where she backed herself in. And it showed. Her opponents, who were often older and with more experience at the VFLW level, were nullified as she spoiled and marked her way into a solidified position with the Falcs. And we know now, that plenty of other clubs were watching her too.

Sarah Sansonetti gets a kick away against the Bulldogs [Photo: Rob Lawson Photography]

We spoke briefly about what kind of player she looks to for inspiration – Dane Swan was her go-to. Whist I can’t be sure how many times over the next few months we’ll see Sanso beside Dane on the dancefloor of The Albion, she certainly admires Dane’s on-field consistency. It is something she will be aiming to achieve this season as the inaugural Richmond AFLW team is sure to make a statement on the competition. Consistency will be Sanso’s statement.

Sanso is humble. She’s not showy or pushy. She’ll ask questions where they’re due, and she listens intently to coaches and teammates alike. Her level-headedness means she understands the importance of balance between footy and the outside world – study, family and time for other things.

When asked about what post-AFLW holds for her this year, she said she’s not too fussed. She knows she has some uni work to do, and we might find her trotting around the globe at some stage. Or eating some scrambled eggs. She likes those.

Sarah is just one of many young guns who we will be privileged to watch this season and for many seasons to come. They are women who have been able to play the game consistently over the years. They are women who have had access to the programs, clinics and club facilities that for so long, were so limited. And we cannot wait.

As far as we’re concerned, Zinger, you’ve earned your stripes and we will watch you burst onto the AFLW scene with the same tenacity and quiet resilience we were privileged to witness throughout the 2019 VFLW season.

Go get ‘em, Tiger.


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