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Meet Rabbitohs superfan Montana

When it comes to South Sydney Rabbitohs supporters there are many devoted to their beloved Club but 12-year old Montana might just be the most devoted of them all.

Growing up with Red and Green in her veins, Montana has followed the Rabbitohs to as many places that she can, cheering for her favourite idols such as Sam Burgess, Adam Reynolds and Maddie Studdon.

Living on the Gold Coast with her family Montana watches Souths, however, and wherever she can and mum Rebecca Burch is more than happy to help her daughter cheer on a Club that recognises her undying support.

"For us, our love for Rabbitohs is not just about the history or the amazing players but also how as a member of the Club we get extra opportunities to get up close with the players," said Rebecca.

"At the Member fan events across the season, the players really take time to talk to the Junior Members, get to know them and put the biggest smiles on their faces."

Montana's Rabbitohs supporting history starts from a very young age when her 'Pop' Kenny Smith, a lifelong Cardinal and Myrtle diehard got ahead of the pack and raised Montana in the only colours he knew.

"Montana's Pop was a diehard fan, he did the march, he did everything Souths so when Montana was born 12 years ago he got in first before the other granddad did who supported the Dragons," Rebecca explained.

"He used to take them to the games or watch it on TV with them religiously and used to tell them stories of the old days, sing the Rabbitohs anthem and passed on the tradition."

Growing up watching nothing else but Rugby League Montana has her heart set on a future in the game, and with the Women's game growing rapidly her desire to become the next biggest star couldn't be bigger.

"Montana loves Adam Reynolds and Sam Burgess and wanted to grow up and be a football player but as she got older she realised there wasn't the same path for girls," said Rebecca.

"She couldn't understand why Sam Burgess gets paid to be footy star for the whole year and the girls still have to have a job and fit in footy."

"So we started watched the Jillaroos games and followed them and that's where we met the likes of Maddie Studdon, Alana Ferguson and Ali Brigginshaw who have all been amazing to her and a true inspiration.

"Then because we have seen a remarkable development of new pathways for women in Rugby League and its really progressing quickly, now she is like, 'I can play Rugby League as a future career and being a girl isn't going to stop me'."

Montana and her family have travelled to see the Rabbitohs a number of times this season including trips to Perth and to Sydney numerous times and Rebecca believes that their passion is what being a Rabbitohs supporter is all about.

"The thing that Pop passed on about the Rabbitohs is the history, and it's a family club with such a strong community of solidarity and committed fans and if you're a Rabbitohs fan you're a serious fan and Montana saw that," Rebecca said.

"When we started going to games Sam and Tom would come up and talk to her, they recognise her because she has gone to their games, they all take the time to talk to their fans.

"The people who are associated with the Rabbitohs, not just the players but the old legend players and even the staff take so much time for the people who follow the Rabbitohs and that's why people follow the Club, its that loyal community spirit.

"I think that's what Montana sees, it's not just her following around a football team, they also give back and she's had these amazing opportunities because of it."


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