AZ woman is the first American woman to sign with Australian football club

Mesa's Danielle Marshall becomes the first American female to sign a contract with an Australian football club.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Danielle Marshall has played sports her entire life. However, she didn't find the sport she'd play professionally until channel-surfing one day.

"I was just clicking around the channels trying to find Premier League soccer, and this random sport comes up. I was like, 'What is this? It's not rugby. It's not soccer,'" said Marshall when Arizona's Family caught up with her at Arizona Hawks practice. "And I looked up the rules and I'm like, 'Oh

my gosh! This looks so cool!' It's like soccer mixed with rugby, mixed with football, mixed with hockey, basketball, ultimate frisbee."

Marshall is the first American woman to ever sign a professional contract to an Australian football club. She moved to Arizona after growing up in Colorado playing college soccer for Colorado School of Mines. She joined the Arizona Hawks footy club after a former roommate told her about a team in the area. From there, her story skyrocketed.

"I didn't even know there was a female pro league. Halfway into 2018, I was like, 'That's cool.' But American footy is really new. it's really kind of far behind where their game is. I'd hear stories of women going over, and it was way harder than they thought it would be. And I was like, 'It would be cool, but I don't know if it's for me.' I was playing a game in LA, and a guy from Australia happened to be there watching," said Marshall.

His name was Cameron Richardson. He's a cricket manager in Australia and has ties to football clubs in the country. Richardson planted the idea in Danielle's head. She also won best and fairest at a tournament and took the vote of confidence to make the leap. So this week, Danny packed up and moved to Melbourne. She signed a one year contract with the Western Bulldogs. It's a wild story getting discovered half a world away. If anybody can make the team, it's Marshall.

"Most lovely person you'll ever meet," said Hawks coach Darren Henderson. "When someone like Danny comes along, you know she will make it. She's going to put in hard work, understanding, knowledge. She'll do great things in the AFLW."

Now, Danielle Marshall begins a new journey. Whether she makes it in Australia or not, she's made history. It's a story that started right here in Arizona.


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