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Dubbed the one to watch prior to her side’s blockbuster clash against the Adelaide Phoenix over the weekend, Canberra Mustangs quarterback, Dani de Groot, stood head and shoulders above her teammates (quite literally) and delivered a standout performance in front of a less-than-supportive City Mazda Stadium crowd.

Intelligent, poised and with arm strength capable of pitching a pigskin over a wheat silo, de Groot is rapidly expunging any preconceived ideas she’s a full kit specialist as she asserts herself as a premier offensive weapon within the league. Boasting arguably the greatest potential of any player within the LGL, de Groot looks primed to explode in the second half of the season and lead her Stangs into the deep, dark depths of the playoffs.



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The Crunch Mag
Hey Dani! how are we recovering from last weeks match against Adelaide Phoenix?

Dani de Groot
Hey! Recovering well. Had a team recovery pool session on Tuesday which was great for the body and now ready to get back into training for our next clash.

The Crunch Mag
After facing the Phoenix for the first time, what was your initial thoughts?

Dani de Groot
The Phoenix had there game plan together really well. It’s something I noticed after the first few defensive and offensive series. They had a few players I think we need to be more aware of next time as I think they stepped up to the plate. Really hoping we get our second shot at getting the win over these guys.

Adel VS Canb-18

The Crunch Mag
Now we did notice that you stepped up your game too. One of the highlight is that long pass towards Ayesha ‘Africa’ Matthews.. caught the ball without stopping between two  Adelaide phoenix defenders and scoring a TD (Touch Down). What was going through your head when you made that throw

Dani de Groot
I was more mobile this game after playing injured against Brisbane. So I felt a lot better coming into this game but was still a little cautious. After rolling out of that play action I knew we had to get the first down. When Africa was in my view I could see her going full stream and I knew if I dropped it on the spot she would get there. As soon as I let that ball go I kind of held my breath as I then saw the Phoenix safety start coming down but then BAM Africa was there where I knew she could be. That girl has the goods!

The Crunch Mag
She definitely has! It was def one of our top 10 moments of the night! Now we know you guys are fully aware of Chelsea Farr and Lisa Fyfe. What was the Mustang’s game plan to stop these two ‘almost’ unstoppable players?

Dani de Groot
Well I’m not really involved to much on the defensive side of things. But from my understanding we were aiming to make sure we had the contain on the outside so Farr had to cut back into the middle where we were meant to have help. This was the same concept I believe for Lisa as we were wanting to contain Farr’s outside run and also Lisa’s as if you give her room on the outside she would go. We had to contain both of them but still had to put pressure on Lisa on the outside while doing so. Unfortunately some things don’t always go to plan and get executed as one would like.

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The Crunch Mag
Besides yourself, which Mustang do you believe is most likely to lift and help carry your side to the playoffs?

Dani de Groot
Quite honestly we won’t get to those playoffs without each and everyone of those girls. Everyone in our team has abilities to instill confidence, heart, determination, belief and want into one or many of us and without that and the support and drive we all give each other our playoff hopes won’t come true. We all know what we want and are in this together. We will be coming for that cup.

The Crunch Mag
That is true and this is a team sports.. You need each other to work as one solid unit to reach the top. In saying that.. after the match last Saturday I saw you just before your post game interview and you were not impressed on how things ended. What happened?

Dani de Groot
I think we just had some communication issues on defense which the coaches will need to discuss with each other as it seemed like everyone was on different pages and there also appeared to be a lot of interchanges. Our offence wasn’t as consistent as what I’m sure we all would have hoped, we had a lot of ups and downs and we need to get ourselves more consistent for the next game.

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The Crunch Mag
It is your second game and you learned a lot working with your team mates and coaches. Also working how well your team glued together under pressure. Now you’re getting likened to two-time MVP Lisa Fyfe, a lot for your ability to both run and pass the pigskin, how does the comparison sit with you?

Dani de Groot
Lisa is becoming a good player and she is doing a great job for her team. I really think the reason why everyone says this is because they got to see Phoenix play first up and she did a great job her first game with some good passes and great running. But the LGL(Ladies Gridiron League)  hasn’t seen the full Dani de Groot yet. Game 1, I was carrying a bad calf tear which then end up in both legs. Game 2, I started to feel more mobile and get back in a nice little groove after weeks and weeks off. I just can’t wait to get stuck into training the next 4 weeks and come game 3 show everyone I have my own identity.

The Crunch Mag
Looks like we have plenty to look forward to in Dani De Groot! I’m sure the rest of the LGL will see what you have to offer at your next game. Out of all the other teams, who would you like to go head to head with in the Grand Finals if the Mustangs make it there? and why?

Dani de Groot
Definitely Adelaide again. Those girls are now 3-0 and considered the best team in the league. We want to go up against the best, have a good hard game and win. We’re hungry for the win and it would be amazing to get the opportunity again to play them in the GF. You want to be the best you have to beat the best and that’s what we are aiming for.

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The Crunch Mag
We know that you’ve played a lot of full kit in Canberra, in what facets does the LGL differ to normal gridiron and how have you adapted to those changes?

Dani de Groot
Full Kit is surprisingly different from the LGL. The LGL is such a faster game then playing full kit. It was a real shock trying to adapt to the differences the first few full contact sessions, everyone was so quick. I think the most noticeable difference to everyone is the uniforms. I love my full kit uniform but with the LGL uniform it is so light weight and allows you to move more freely, pads are smaller which allows again more movement (for me especially) and the helmets have a lot more visibility

The Crunch Mag
Awesome! Well good luck with your next game and we will definitely check in with you another time! Any last words to all the Canberra Mustang fans out there?

Dani de Groot
Thank you, looking forward to it.
Huge thanks for all your support before and after our Adelaide game! Next home game early February. Come out, be loud, bleed green and join the GREEN STAMPEDE on our journey to the cup! See you there.

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Interviewed by The Crunch Enforcer
Trey Dawg
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Write up by The Crunch Enforcer
Nick Armistead
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Special Thanks To Images by
Ren Torres + Tori Heron


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