As the Legends Football League begins to expand its global reach, another legendary player joins the ambitious Australian division. One of the defensive stalwarts for the Jacksonville Breeze, Adrian Purnell has joined the Western Australia Angels.
The acquisition of Purnell is a great boon for Western Australia. With Purnell having claimed the 2013 LFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, she is an outstanding talent that makes any team she plays with a competitor.
For the LFL fans of Australia, Purnell is the American dream come true. A former Hooters girl who also earned her university degree at the University of South Florida, she is a hardworking and dedicated sporting hero who is a role model for young girls.
An added bonus for the franchise is that Purnell becomes the first star from the LFL US ranks to join their squad. Of note, Purnell is the third star from LFL US to join the league. A pair of stars from the Los Angeles Temptation are also on-board; Chloe Butler and Monique Gaxiola, the 2013 Mortaza Award Winner.
While the Breeze were unable to capitalize on their strong start and qualify for the postseason, they were a difficult opponent throughout the campaign. Purnell provided the expansion Atlanta Steam with their “Welcome to the LFL moment” in a 48-0 whitewash on March 30. Playing on a defense with the likes of Saige Steinmetz and Lauren Ziegler, Purnell was nothing short of punishing.
A defeat of the playoff bound Baltimore Charm would follow but a contest versus another expansion team would serve to be a costly one. Losing 8-0 to the Omaha Heart, it was dubbed as the biggest upset in LFL history. Despite the loss, Purnell and the Breeze played valiantly in the season finale versus Philadelphia, only to suffer a heartbreaking 20-19 defeat.
There were still many positives at season’s end. The Breeze defense ranked number one in the league, allowing only 41 points. Purnell would rank second in rushing and receiving yards, showing a solid offensive game which features 12.7 yards per carry and 7.1 yards per catch, respectively. Although she was not the team leader in tackles, her consistency was nothing short of remarkable.
Purnell exemplified the type of hard-hitting defense that made the Breeze the most feared in the LFL. A forced fumble, a league-best four interceptions (tied with Heather Furr) and 12.5 tackles were among the highlights of her season. Citing former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis as someone she strives to play like, Purnell could not have picked a better choice for her elite defensive game.
Motivated to win a championship, Western Australia could not have asked for a better player than Purnell. A coachable player who brings versatility, leadership and enthusiasm, it would not come as a surprise to Breeze fans if she ended her first season in LFL Australia with some more hardware for her trophy case.