Global Panthers: 2022 Cohort
In the fall of 2022, the Mississippi Lady Panthers received an email that would forever change the organization. Renae (Red) Hahn reached out to the Mississippi Panthers with a beautifully crafted email, Youtube video samples of her athletic abilities —asking for a once in a lifetime opportunity. Can I play for your team in America?
Our General Manager and Co-Owner, Camry Veal, followed up to learn more about how we could start this partnership, and that is how the program—Global Panther Program—was born. American football is viewed across the globe, and the opportunity to allow women across the nation the chance to play is deserving of the center stage. Now, we have the opportunity to showcase women playing a male-dominated sport on a global level. By developing this program, we created a standard as the first team in the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC) to establish a program of this caliber. To learn more bout the program, visit the Global Panther Program page.
For our first cohort, we are welcoming women from Australia to visit and experience playing as a Lady Panther and life in America. We have five deserving ladies who will be joining the Lady Panthers along this journey for the 2022 season.
- Shiloh Phillips
- Renae (Red) Ashleigh Hahn
- Liuanga (Liu) Halaifonua Palu
- Hayley Tagaloa-Smith
- Amanda Howsan
We asked each of the women a series of questions about their football experience and how excited they are for this opportunity. We recorded their responses to highlight them in this release.
The Mississippi Panthers are grateful for the opportunity to invite international players to play each year with our new global panther program. How do you feel this program will impact women’s access to playing football?
“I’m so excited for this opportunity and pathway to take place. This is what myself and my teammates have been waiting for, for so long. I thought this opportunity would bypass and only be offered to the next generation coming through. So grateful and appreciative is an understatement and I plan on making the most of this given opportunity!” – Shiloh Phillips
What advice do you have for women who are looking to come to America to play football?
“What advice do you have for women who are looking to come to America to play football? Firstly, I would encourage them to study the game extensively, you want to make sure you can keep up in a world where people have been living and breathing this game since they were born. But secondly JUST SEND THE EMAIL! You’d be surprised at how welcoming teams in the WNFC are to international talent.” – Red Hahn
What advice do you give young girls who are looking to play football?
“This is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make because Football is an amazing sport. Football isn’t just about having a fun and active time, you’ll leave the game being a better teammate, athlete, and student. This is gonna set you up for life. Be ready.” – Liu Palu
What inspired you to start playing football?
“Inspired is a term I would use loosely – I was out at a bar one night, minding my own business when I was approached by this girl with long red hair, and her first words to me were ‘hey, do you want to play football?’ – she was on my back about it too, all night and the next week and pestered me to come down to training. Fast forward 7 years, we’ve been best friends since and we’re heading to Mississippi to play in the WNFC. You say inspired I say coerced but either way I’m glad Red was an absolute nuisance that night – football absolutely changed my life. ” – Hayley Tagaloa-Smith
How did you learn about the Mississippi Panthers, and why did you choose to America to take your talents?
“As someone who has followed the WNFC intently for the last couple of years, I wanted the opportunity to play against the best women in football. I searched for a team that would not only take a risk on a footballer from Australia but would look to challenge me as a player and person. The Mississippi Lady Panthers organization and players have welcomed me with open arms and I can see that they are building for not only right now, but long into the future. I am excited to be part of the international player pathway they have built, and I hope to be able to contribute both on and off the field. ” – Amanda Howsan
We are excited to officially welcome the 2022 Cohort of the Global Panther Program. Welcome to the Panther family ladies! We look forward to welcoming you to America soon!