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Conway's tribute: 'This is for you, Mum'

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  February 8, 2018 10:35 AM

 - Brisbane Lions,Sophie Conway

A goal with your first kick. Beating the reigning premiers on their own turf. Sharing the special moment with your dad and two brothers.

Last weekend's 12-point win against Adelaide at Norwood Oval was indeed a memorable one for Brisbane Lions youngster Sophie Conway.

After Conway converted a set shot in the first quarter, she thought of her late mum straight away.

"I knew she was watching over me," Conway told AFL Media after the game, explaining how her mother had lost a lengthy battle with cancer last June.

"I was thinking about her and said to myself, 'This is for you, mum'.

"It was such a good feeling to kick that goal, especially the first one for her."

Conway's father flew down from Brisbane for the game, while older brothers Isaac – a former Lions rookie – and Ben made the trip from Melbourne.

It's been a difficult five years for the family.

Conway's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment and looked to have turned the corner.

"Then unfortunately in December 2016, she got diagnosed with brain cancer, so it came back," Conway said.

"It was a long battle. She fought very hard and unfortunately towards the end in June, it just got too much."

Conway, 19 in April, is a relative newcomer to football, having taken up the game three years ago.

But the skills she learnt on the hockey field – spatial awareness, reading the play and hand-eye coordination – have fast-tracked her development.

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Conway was an under-18 Australian hockey representative last year, while also making the under-18 All Australian team in football after representing Queensland in the NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships.

She had to wait until the 45th pick in the 2017 NAB AFLW Draft before the Lions called her name.

"I've been playing hockey my whole life … [but footy's] been in my family," Conway said.

"My brothers both played it, so I've been around the game since a young age. I just never really picked it up as a game.

"I was always the girl running around after my brothers, kicking the ball back to them because they were too lazy to run and get it," she said with a laugh.

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