Kodie Fuller’s punt on gridiron leads to contract with US team Seattle Majestics
On the soccer field, Kodie Fuller was seeing red (cards) too many times and three years ago she decided it was time for a new challenge.
Now the 22-year-old, who had been considering a career in law, is on the verge of fulfilling a dream to play gridiron (American football) in the United States.
“I was always planning on moving to the States for a gap year, but then my friends told me about the league over there,” Fuller told ABC Radio Brisbane.
“I sent through some of my highlight film to a few coaches over there and Seattle was my favourite out of all of them.”
Soccer was too boring
The wide receiver with the Gold Coast Stingrays will next month join up with the Seattle Majestics for the 2019 Women’s Football Alliance season.
“I had no idea what the game was about when I first started, and I didn’t know any of the rules and I’d never watched a game,” she said.
“I used to play soccer but it got a bit too boring for my liking.
“I wanted a new challenge and I was getting too many red cards, so I thought something with a little more contact would be good.”
Fuller, who has also played for the Queensland Sun Devils, said she had considered playing rugby league, however the lure of gridiron was too great.
“I did start a bit of a [rugby league] pre-season but it just wasn’t like gridiron,” she said.
“It’s full kit [in gridiron] and a few of the women in my team definitely hit as hard as the men.
“It’s bigger in the US than it is here and they’ve just started the new league for 2019, but this league will be something different for them too.
“I think I’ll have to fight for my position and it’s not going to be as easy as it is here.”
Learning the playbook
Fuller said the mental side of the game was the hardest to grasp.
“It took me a good year to understand the rules and my first year was hilarious as I didn’t know what I was doing.
“You need a good couple of weeks to read the rules and understand it as it’s really complex.
“I’ve never run the wrong way, but it did happen to one of the girls in our league this year.”
Women’s vs men’s league
Although the sport has widespread appeal in the US, the women’s league is a long way behind the men in terms of popularity.
Fuller said she hoped the future might see more equality between the men’s and women’s leagues.
“It’s starting to pick-up, but it’s nothing how we want it to be yet,” she said.
“There’s nowhere near as much money offered for the women’s league as it is for the men.
“We get living accommodation and a few other bits and bobs but nothing like the men.”