Rachael, welcome to W Sports & Media!
It has been a huge year for you, drafted to your hometown club in the inaugural AFLW competition and a premiership player.
What are your goals for the 2018 season?
RACHAEL: I’m looking to improve my strength over preseason, I felt I held my own with my skills however the physicality of the competition was a step up from our local league. I had a few niggles last season so I’m hoping to play every game and I look forward to the challenge of being the hunted team this season!
How did you pick up the game and what age were you?
RACHAEL: I always had a footy in hand growing up but I didn’t start playing until I was 14 in the Highschool Knockout Competition. I started club footy just for some fun and fitness when I finished school but within a few months I was selected in the state side. I was still tossing up between footy and tennis so going to the National’s Championships in Cairns was a real turning point for me. I had a ball with my teammates and was lucky enough to come away with the Melissa Backhouse Rising Star award for the competition.
What was it about Aussie Rules that drew you to the game?
RACHAEL: We supported South Adelaide for a few years when I was younger so most of my weekends were spent at local footy grounds. I played a lot of marks-up with family-friends and the boys at school so I was drawn to the competitive nature of the game.
You were a promising junior tennis player until an injury setback. What is it about Aussie Rules that you prefer to tennis?
RACHAEL: I played a lot of different sports including tennis, golf and gaelic footy but I really enjoy the team environment that’s unique to AFL. Everyone has each other’s backs and there’s no better feeling than sharing and celebrating success with 22 of your mates.
You study Mechanical & Sports Engineering, how difficult is it to juggle this with your footy?
RACHAEL: It was difficult at times to juggle both uni and footy however Adelaide University has an Elite Athlete Program so they were really supportive and flexible with my footy commitments.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
RACHAEL: Don’t hesitate, more often than not your first choice is the right one.
Who is your sporting idol?
RACHAEL: Growing up playing tennis I looked up to Roger Federer. I admired his incredible skills and composure under pressure, and his humbleness off-court.
Outside of footy and study, how does Rachael Killian spend her spare time?
RACHAEL: I find playing the guitar is a good way to relax away from footy and uni. I enjoy catching up for coffee with friends and supporting local footy and soccer.