Ruby's Door of Opportunity
A distinguishing feature of the local Northern Rivers Women’s League is the opportunity it has created for our local women. The oxford dictionary defines the word opportunity as “a time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something”, and that definitely took place in 2016 for Ruby Armbruster when a women's team was being assembled. However, her football journey didn’t only begin on the training park in 2016 when the Swans were building the regions first women’s squad, it goes back for a decade longer as a Swans junior;
in a boys’ team.
In 2018 she continues as vice-captain after a successful 2017 as Lismore’s match breaking forward and becoming a premiership player, Armbruster's interest in Aussie Rules actually goes back since her childhood. Wanting to play her favourite sport, sometimes doing whatever it takes was the only answer.
“I started at under 14’s for Lismore with the boys, then progressed to an under 18’s women’s team on the Gold Coast” Armbruster explains.
‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door’ as the famous Milton Berle once expressed, and this is exactly what Armbruster created. But this was not the first and only time opportunity came for her, as the famous saying goes ‘opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor’. In 2016 the Lismore Swans started the process towards establishing a women’s team, and at that time none existed between the Gold Coast and Newcastle. The Norther Star reported on the venture, and as such Prime News and NBN jumped onboard wondering if this concept would ever work.
“When I heard that Lismore was starting a women’s team, I came down to training” Armbruster explains. “It was great to see interest early and others also jumping onboard”. Week by week, month by month, until eventually in September 2016 it was clear there were enough registered players interested, the Lismore Swans Women’s squad became official.
Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, and at the start of the 2017 inaugural season, years of hopes and dreams became a reality, as Armbruster played her favourite game for her local women’s club.
The 2017 season ended as we all know it did, draped in glory with the inaugural women’s Northern Rivers Premiership, and sharing it with Armbruster was her sister Georgina Morris, who also stood tall throughout the year in defence with her consistent effort week in week out. “Playing alongside G (Georgina) is amazing. I couldn’t picture playing now without her. We have shared so much together and being able to share the love of footy and the Swans is indescribable” Armbruster shares.
It's when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached, and Armbruster is definitely an example of that, and 2018 will once again present another challenge to overcome, as the league heats up with the Byron Magpies now onboard, and both Ballina Bombers and Tweed Tigers also improving, will that cause a problem for Armbruster and the squad?
Inside of every problem, lies an opportunity. Bring it on.