New co-captain Hannah Priest is – without doubt – the last person to talk about herself and inflate her own tyres.
So instead, we got two of her closest teammates, Isabella Shannon and Olivia Vesely, to do the talking on her behalf.
The two young Saints spoke to saints.com.au about Priest taking them under her wing, the qualities that make her an inspiring leader and her generous spirit felt by all her teammates.
Can you describe Hannah Priest in one word?
OV: Very fun… that’s two words! [laughs]
IS: When she came into the club, she came in not knowing anyone and then within two months we were all voting for her for captain. There’s not one person here who doesn’t have a genuine relationship with her because she genuinely cares for everyone.
OV: She’s such a genuine person, so empathetic and compassionate and she’s got a super kind heart. You’ll never go past the gym without seeing her busting out a move or singing a song or doing something random as well.
Is Hannah the last person to talk about herself?
IS: Absolutely. She’s very a very humble human being and I think that’s what makes her such a special person.
OV: She cares so deeply about everyone else, I think more than herself probably.
IS: Even on the weekend after the game against Carlton, she was looking a bit down and I asked ‘what’s wrong, Han?’.
OV: She really takes everyone’s emotions on herself as well. She’s super sensitive to everyone’s feelings, so she knows when people aren’t quite right or she knows how to pump people up and get the best out of them.
Is that what makes Hannah a good leader?
OV: Oh 100%!
IS: I think to all us young dudes as well, she’s so personable and she’s taken us all in like her sisters.
OV: Yeah, we definitely feel like she’s our big sister… a bit of a weirdo, though. [laughs]
When did Hannah first take you under her wing?
OV: She started teaching me how to drive the manual car not long after she got to the club, and then…
IS: …I guess I just tagged along a bit!
OV: All three of us have a similar… I don’t know, weird personality! We have the same humour I guess, and we get bagged for hanging out a bit too much together!
IS: She’s someone you can definitely call on. We were at her house the other day and she said ‘when you guys are in the city ever, I’ll come and pick you up!’.
Is there a big shift between Hannah day-to-day at the club and Hannah on game-day?
OV: Oh no, not at all!
IS: She’s definitely competitive and she has an ability to focus really well.
OV: She’s super tough, I wouldn’t want to be playing on her! She’s not, like, bad competitive, she doesn’t get heated at all but she’s super driven.
IS: I think another thing about her is all her hard work. That’s probably another reason why she’s been voted in.
OV: On game day she’s really good at keeping the same energy. I think some people tend to go into their shells a bit which is great, but for all of us – especially seeing it was our first year and this year we’re still pretty new to it – I think it’s really helpful having someone to pump you up and make sure that you know that it’s not all serious and you can have a really good time as well.
Does Hannah love a speech on game day?
OV: Apparently she gave the first one on the weekend?
IS: Yeah, she did.
OV: I think she’ll just take it, she’ll just take what comes!
IS: She does love an inspirational speech just randomly.
OV: In the gym!
IS: Yeah, you’ll just be chatting to her and she’ll come out with this random spiel that just…
OV: …doesn’t mean anything?
IS: No, it does! It’s actually really inspiring! Why did you just say that? [laughs]
Is it true that Hannah braids the some of the girls' hair before a game?
OV: She’s definitely a great braider, you have to book in advance to get in at the salon!
IS: I imagine her pre-game it’s just her doing people’s braids.
OV: She did my hair for a game, she did Kathy’s braids, which apparently got a mention (at the season launch).
IS: I do Rhi’s.
OV: Belle’s very good at doing hair too… you’re the apprentice! [laughs]
IS: Just watching and learning at the moment!
Was Hannah always leadership material when she first came into the club?
IS: For sure.
OV: I remember none of us knew her at all – and I think she was a bit late coming into the team and flying over – but she sent us all this message before we even knew her. Now looking back, it’s sort of pretty characteristic of her – it was really fun and she was so excited. I can only speak for myself, but it would be pretty nerve-wracking coming in and not knowing anyone but she was pretty… not confident, but she oozed fun and a great, caring nature I think straight away.
IS: She took on the role of fines coordinator almost immediately, and I think that’s what got her…
OV: Up and about?
IS: Yeah, in the limelight a bit! But she comes from a teaching background, so she’s always been able to stand up and speak and all those kind of things. She was just a natural leader amongst the group.
If Rhi is the heart and soul, Kate is the footy brains and Cat is the one to raise the bar, where does Hannah sit in it all?
OV: She's bit of everything I think, she’s the big sister! [laughs]
IS: No, no, that’s definitely right.
OV: She’s the energy. She’s a bit of like the engine room, she will keep us all churning along and she just keeps a vibe.
IS: I don’t know what the word would be, but she brings us all together. She glues everything together, I guess. She does have the hardworking aspect and she raises the bar, but then also the care.
OV: I think she knows how to get the best out of every single one of us and challenge us all to be awesome people as well.