Emily Curtain braces for bumper 2022

Emily Curtain. Picture: Wests Tigers
Emily Curtain. Picture: Wests Tigers

This year isn't the first time Blair Athol resident Emily Curtain has had to wait to play a game of footy.

Rewind a decade and the Wests Tigers halfback - who won the players' player award at the club's awards recently - patiently had to wait to play her first game of rugby league.

"I wanted to start a year earlier but my parents wouldn't let me because I had recently broken my nose playing netball so I had to wait another year," Curtain said.

"So I would go to training and watch my sister [Sophie] and brother [Bradley] and play in the backyard so I was ready to go when I played my first game."

The 20-year-old had her best season in the black and gold to lead the Wests Tigers NSW Women's Premiership into the top six this season.

A semi-final match-up with the Sharks would never eventuate as the competition was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"We were looking forward to the finals. We had quite lot of injuries and the girls were just coming back towards the start of finals but COVID stopped that from happening," she said.

"We were really keen to get out there and play and hopefully make the big dance."

Emily Curtain nails a conversion. Pictures: Wests Tigers.

Emily Curtain nails a conversion. Pictures: Wests Tigers.

But there was a silver lining for the goal-kicking playmaker - or so she thought. She was selected for the Parramatta Eels' inaugural NRLW squad before that competition was postponed.

So Curtain was back playing the waiting game. Luckily she had some company in the form of twin sister Sophie.

The twins, who were finalists for the club's player of the year award, have spent lockdown training together ahead of the new season.

Emily and Sophie - who plays hooker for the Wests Tigers NSW Women's Premiership team - started their footy careers playing with the boys at Eagle Vale St Andrews (Emily would play halfback in attack and fullback in defence) before featuring in a new girl's competition en route to the Wests Tigers Tarsha Gale Cup team. As well as scoring tries on the footy field, the pair also won world Muay Tuai gold medals in their junior years.

Next year looms as a busy season for Emily Curtain. Picture: Wests Tigers

Next year looms as a busy season for Emily Curtain. Picture: Wests Tigers

"It's definitely good having Sophie out on the field. We know how each other play and we can link up in the middle," Emily said.

Next year looms as a busy one for Emily who could have two NRLW seasons bookending her fourth campaign with the Wests Tigers.

The Tigers will be boosted by the re-signing of international fullback and captain Botille Vette-Welsh and the addition of Jillaroos stars Kezie Apps and Jessica Sergis for the NSW Women's Premiership.

And how did it feel to win the players' player award?

"It was great to be recognised by the playing group and the staff on how I played this season. Being a leader really helped my game and a lot of the girls looked up to me in those big games," Emily said.

This story Emily Curtain braces for bumper 2022 first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.