Sabrina Frederick-Traub has been entrenched in Brisbane’s side for as long as the AFLW has existed, the six-foot Western Australian a staple of the rapid growth of women’s football.
Her Lions have featured in each of the AFLW’s Grand Finals, falling despairingly short.
Last weekend, Frederick-Traub’s Lions missed their chance to make good on their previous failures, ending their Round 7 clash with Collingwood a goal short of victory.
The 22-year-old has played 22 games, booted 15 goals and is a two-time All-Australian after cutting her teeth in the Western Australian Women’s Football League for the Peel Thunderbirds.
Frederick-Traub was one of Brisbane’s two marquee selections before the 2017 season, along with Tayla Harris, now at Carlton.
As the 2019 season comes to a close, the enigmatic, exceptional and mercurial forward has announced her departure from the Lions – recently linked to expansion club Richmond as the AFLW Grand Final approaches.
3 years down, what a journey! A 19 year old kid, moving across the country. Brisbane you believed in me for who I am and I will never forget that. This city and QLD will always have a special place in my heart, and all those in which who fill it. The people I have met, relationships I have built, and the lessons I have learnt, I just want to say a huge thank you to the whole Brisbane Lions organisation. I have always admired the work you put in, and I will admit it will be difficult not seeing your smiling faces as I walk through The Gabba. Shout out to my main lady at the front desk Maz, always the first woman I would see and always had the time for me. That just sets the tone for the whole place right through to the two ladies who put in the effort late nights to make sure the facilities are clean and ready for use the next day, you all have a part to play in putting us women and men on the field and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. A special thank you to Bree Brock and Craig Starcevich, you guys are the reason I came here in the first place, you steered the ship and created something special here. To the members of the pride you have all been unreal; after games seeing your smiling faces, getting cuddles and hi fives from the little ones make it an absolute dream! Lastly to all my current and past teammates you ladies are my heroines, thank you for making each year a special piece of me and inspiring those around you. I look forward to watching you grow, we will always be family. Let's get something straight, you don't just stop being a lion when you walk out those doors, it is forever a part of you and it will be a proud part of my life that one day I will share with my own little ones. And who knows maybe someday we will have a little Sabs running around in Brisbane town 😉 Excited for what the future holds, ready for the next chapter of my life. This one was golden. 😊👍🏽
Part of Uncle Toby’s Great Grows Here campaign, Frederick-Traub (along with rocket scientist Samantha Ridgway and acrobat Peter Kismartoni) has been part helped to encourage healthy nutrition and highlight the extraordinary growth of people in the Australian landscape.
In her third year of AFLW, Frederick-Traub’s preparation has held her in good stead throughout her career, the once unconventional yet now rapidly popular technique of pre-match meditation aiding her in focusing before a game.
“I do a bit of meditation on the morning of the day…it’s pretty important for me. I think you just get caught thinking a lot about the game to come and replay moments in your head of instances you think are going to happen,” she said.
One of the more crucial aspects of her routine, Frederick-Traub’s meditation allows the champion forward to step back from the stresses of AFLW and free her mind of unneeded concerns.
“It’s pretty important for me…I like to start the day with a break from all that. Especially because you think about it the night before, and the day before, about whatever may be. Sometimes you need a chance for your body to stop thinking about the game – just not thinking about the game to come helps me to prepare,” she said.
Apart from practicing meditation consistently throughout her career, the gun full-forward’s game-day preparation is fairly straightforward.
“The important part (about game-day preparation) is the last snack before a game, so I normally have a muesli bar. That’s very important to me, the last snack before a game," she said.
"You want to make sure it's going to give you enough energy when you run out there. I’ve been having Uncle Toby’s muesli bars as the last snack before the game.”
In the AFLW’s fledgeling years, the development of players has been crucial, and throughout her years as an AFLW player, Frederick-Traub and her teammates have had professional help with match preparation, a dietician present at the football club to “check up” on the players’ preparation and aid them through a consultation process.
Frederick-Traub could be considered an AFLW veteran, and with the number of female footballers skyrocketing, the improvement of rookies, such as Carlton superstar Maddi Prespakis and the injured Nina Morrison at Kardinia Park.
“The Lions…have a pretty good system where the majority of those who get drafted have been in that system for a couple of years. They’ve already had the advantage of having a routine of doing gym, training and having those resources,” she said.
Sabrina Frederick-Traub is one of Australian football’s new breed of trailblazers; young women who have taken Australian football to the next level through their incredible performances in the newly fledged yet hugely exciting AFLW.
With countless years left of her footballing career and the standard of women’s football rising rapidly, she has the ability to lead the way, writing new stories for this generation of footy fans and players while building women’s football into an astonishing nation-wide success.
Ours is the pleasure to watch the game, led by her, grow.