When Central takes on West at Jubilee Oval today – Saturday-, it will mark a landmark day for women’s football in Broken Hill. Central’s Phoebe Knell is set to play her 150th match, making her the first local female footballer to achieve this feat.
Phoebe, a high school teacher, relocated to Broken Hill from Murwillumbah in 2012 and quickly integrated herself into the local football scene. Her friend and inaugural Central coach, Katie Patison, had her signed up before she even arrived.
“I must thank Katie. She was a friend from home who was already here when I arrived and she, along with Peter Nash were crucial to getting women’s footy set-up over here,” Phoebe told the Truth.
“I had never played football before, so Kieran Ralph and ‘Marto’ (Dean Martin), my first coaches, were instrumental in equipping me with the basic skills. I owe them a huge thank you,” Ms Knell added.
Phoebe began her football journey at Central and went on to play for South (2014-2016), then West (2017-2019), before returning to her roots with the Magpies.
Andrew Schmidt, the President of AFL Broken Hill, not only celebrated the milestone but also acknowledged the significant impact Phoebe Knell has had on football in the Silver City.
“I think it signifies how important a part of our local footy landscape women’s footy now is,” Mr Schmidt told the Truth.
“To get to 150 games is just an outstanding credit to her. And on top of that, she’s the first to throw her hand up for any combined games, she’s won best and fairest awards, she is just an outstanding role model.
“And on top of that, she’s umpiring the youth girl’s competition, she helps with the coaching at AusKick for Central as well as umpiring some men’s B-grade football. Phoebe’s contribution to footy since she arrived in Broken Hill is simply remarkable,” the AFLBH President continued.
Central heads to Jubilee Oval to take on West today (Saturday), with the match beginning at 11.25am. Get down there to witness history.