Four mum-and-daughter duos line up for same club to make footy a family business

Players during a suburban Australian rules football game.

It’s often said that football clubs are like families but for one team in Adelaide’s north-east that statement is more than a mere platitude.

Key points:

  • The Modbury Hawkettes currently count four mum-and-daughter duos in their ranks
  • Already the club has a strong father-son tradition so not it is aiming to replicate that in the women’s game
  • At least one player admits it is difficult to avoid parental instincts occasionally kicking in

The Modbury Hawkettes senior women’s side has recently been taking to the field with no fewer than four mother-daughter duos in its ranks.

There’s the Menadues, Tyes, Woods and Eberts. All have donned the brown and gold this season.

Dani Menadue — whose mum, Sally, is an on-field newcomer — is hoping that team success can emerge from those off-field bonds.

“It would be hard to put [those bonds] aside because they have raised us since we were born, I guess, but I think on the field it’s a little different for me and mum,” she told ABC Radio Adelaide’s Sonya Feldhoff.

“It’s more of a mature environment, so I think everyone feels more comfortable raising their concerns, and everything to do with the teams.

“They’re all matching up really well … so I think a lot more will be encouraged.”

Players during a suburban Australian rules football game.
Kylie Tye lays a tackle as Mia Ebert assists.(Supplied)

While it’s difficult to know for sure whether they are setting some kind of record, the players themselves have not heard of any other feat like theirs.

“For a long time, we’ve had a great history of father-son representatives but to now have [four] mother-daughter duos lining up in brown and gold is something else,” the club said on Facebook.

Two players during a suburban Australian rules football game.Two players during a suburban Australian rules football game.
Mia Ebert gathers the ball as Sharna Tye provides support.(Supplied)

Team manager Kylie Tye — whose daughter, Sharna, is captain — said she had not initially intended on a playing role for herself, but had gradually started “training with the girls” last year.

“Slowly, throughout the season, we lost players [through] injury or they couldn’t make games and our bench kind of dwindled,” she said.

“I thought, ‘OK, I’ll step in and help out’, and just started from there, and I’ve really enjoyed it ever since.”

She conceded that, in the heat of battle, it was difficult to avoid parental instincts kicking in.

“If you do something wrong by my daughter, I’ll try [to] step in,” Ms Tye said.

“There was one time when she got knocked behind the play, so I kind of ran up to the girl who did it and gave her a bit of a push and she pushed me back, but the girls then come in and support you anyway.”

The sidelines of a suburban football game.The sidelines of a suburban football game.
Mother and daughter Alycia and Jayla Wood during a recent game.(Supplied)

While families have flourished at the Hawkettes, the players themselves are keen to point out the club is about extending opportunity to “anyone who would like to come and play”.

“We’ve tracked pretty well so far this season.

“Everyone’s skills have really grown and we had a good win on the weekend, so the season’s looking quite promising.”

And it hasn’t taken long for Kylie Tye to start sounding like a pro — already saying she’s keeping her future options open.

“I’ll definitely finish this season and we will see how the body holds up for next year,” she said.



Author: Ivan Robinson