In line with the upcoming AFL final, Millie Klingbeil talks about the discipline required to train and play for Victoria’s women’s football league, the things she’s learned along the way, and the importance of life balance.
Millie Klingbeil (TC 2017) has been playing VFLW for four years: two seasons for Geelong, one for Richmond and one for Carlton while she studied for her bachelor’s degree in agriculture and vet science. She was a resident at Trinity for her first three years at uni.
‘I’m proud of my perseverance in the VFL system. It’s such a huge time commitment in addition to university but if you really want something you have to work hard for it,’ she says. ‘I’ve learned a lot about group dynamics in the process and working together for a common goal. To be a good player, you have to work well with others. I think this will stand me in good stead in my career.’
A midfielder, Millie started playing with a local team while in year 12 at Caulfield Grammar and when she started at Trinity she tried out for Geelong on one of their talent days and got into the team. ‘Even though it was such a huge hike to train there three days a week, it was so great to be part of that awesome team and to see the milestones we achieved as a group.’
After two years, she moved on to Richmond because of the convenience factor and then transferred to Carlton where she played in every game in the last season. ‘I feel like all my hard work is beginning to show results.’
Millie still managed to find time to play intercollegiate sport for Trinity College. ‘I put my name down for everything…footy, soccer, hockey, touch rugby. I’m really into my sport and it was an easy way to meet like-minded people and make friends. All the sports celebrations and premierships were so awesome.’
Millie is currently working at the Healesville Sanctuary and doing her Certificate II in Animal Studies with the RSPCA with the goal of getting into animal conservation. She’ll also be back playing for Carlton next season.
‘I’m a big believer in having multiple passions to balance your life. I’m either working really hard at footy or I turn off my footy brain and study and focus on my career.’
By Susan Gough Henly