BENDIGO Pioneers midfielder, Kodi Jacques’ football journey did not begin with a stint at her local football club.
Instead, the talented 17 year-old went straight to a talent search day, and caught the eye of one of the most knowledgeable females in football.
“I went to this talent search day and Chyloe Kurdas came up to me and approached me,” Jacques recalled. “The first ever training session I went to was a Vic Country one and she got me to Pioneers. Then the rest is history.”
Jacques did not make the Vic Country squad in that year, but she will feature in this year’s tournament after being one of the leading players for the Pioneers this season. Although Bendigo only recorded one win in 2018, Jacques said that her teammates have been really supportive of each other.
“Our team is really connected and there’s a lot of younger girls,” she said. “The girls are really good, they listen, and I’ve made a couple of friends, which is good.”
The teenager has also made friends at her local football club, the Bendigo Thunder. At the Thunder, Jacques got to play in a range of different positions on the field, which enabled her to realise her football potential.
“I played women’s last year for Bendigo Thunder and I felt like that matured me and matured my game style as well coming into this year,” she said. “I’m a different player to what I was last year.”
Jacques came second in the Bendigo Thunder’s best and fairest in the Northern Football Netball League in 2017, and has continued to play quality football in 2018. She was also featured in Bendigo Pioneers’ best players on six occasions in the nine-round TAC Cup Girls season.
Jacques draws inspiration from Collingwood AFLW midfielder, Jaimee Lambert and Melbourne AFLW captain, Daisy Pearce. The Pioneers midfielder admits that she would love to emulate Pearce’s skills and class in particular.
“I kind of like the way Lambert her footy and just the forwards and midfielders like Daisy Pearce,” Jacques said. “I don’t play like her but I would love to take some of her game and try to put it in mine.”
Outside of footy, Jacques helps out her mum with their family business. But her schedule is about to amp up, as she will be training with Vic Country and with Richmond’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side, giving her an opportunity to showcase her skills on the bigger stages.