By Trent Kniese
Like a lot of teenage girls in the early 2010’s, Teagan Bitters grew up dancing and competing in cheerleading. A star in her respective sports, there was a burning passion for something more.
Growing up in a football obsessed family, Teagan was forced to share the sporting limelight with her older brother, Tristan, who was a successful footballer in his own right, representing the Mornington Peninsula on various occasions.
In 2014, Teagan began playing football, a sport she had loved and craved playing for so long.
“It wasn’t until Balnarring formed their first women’s team that I told my Dad that’s what I wanted to do, I want to play footy.”
Teagan spent her first year of football playing for the Balnarring Junior Football Club. It was the club’s first junior women’s team. Tegan played 28 games in total for Balnarring, receiving best on field plaudits in 19 of those.
At the end of 2017, Teagan made the jump from her beloved junior club to just up the road at Red Hill. Teagan found significant form at the ‘Hillies’, recording 10 best on field awards from 12 games.
Teagan is a born runner. Flowing off half back, her play style lets her get first hands on the football and is a key player in starting her sides attacking play. Teagan’s class also allows her to have spurts throughout the middle of the field.
The Frankston Dolphins have been lucky to secure Teagan’s services for the last two years. Injuries plagued the number 6 at Frankston this year including a broken finger after round one to start 2022. “I broke my finger during the first training session after round one. I was out for 11 weeks. Committed as she always has been to football, during her 11-week absence, Teagan was often spotted on a Tuesday or Thursday night, helping or training where she could.
In the final game of the home and away season, Teagan unfortunately injured her shoulder, just her second game back from recovering from the broken finger.
When asked about her favourite football moment at Frankston, Teagan was quick to answer. “The best game at Frankston was our Round 1 night game against Mornington last year (2021). All the girls’ excitement and energy could be felt in the air. We were struggling with numbers at training only a few weeks before, and so to come together and put on a show and even winning was incredible and a such great way to kick off women’s football at Frankston.”
Teagan’s favourite match ever, just the average interleague final, where Teagan was received votes for best on ground. “It was a scorching hot day in Pearcedale, and after playing all my juniors in the back line, the coach moved me to the midfield, and I ran everywhere despite the heat. We won and I felt so relived after.”
Being apart of the inaugural women’s team at the Frankston Dolphins was a “huge honour” for Teagan. Joining a league with older and stronger women was “intimidating” at first for Teagan but she oversaw that and was just excited to be a part of all the Dolphins are building.
Who knows what the future holds for Teagan. Her run and carry game matched with her commitment and passion for the game so many women can now play freely means a professional career could be right around the corner. “Now, especially given my injuries, I am happy to simply run out on the field whenever possible. I’m hoping that over the next year or so, I’ll be able to raise my game to the level that it deserves and demonstrate why I should be playing at Frankston. If the opportunity to play VFL or further comes up, I would jump at it. But for the time being, I’m happy to focus on my own game and enjoy each week as it comes.”