LIKE a number of other talented footballers, Geelong Falcons midfielder Olivia Purcell crossed to the sport a few years ago when a friend convinced her to give it a go. From the moment she picked up the ball, it clicked and over the recent years, Purcell has gone from strength to strength in each team she joined.
“It started in Year 8 or 9 I just decided to play for the school footy team and then someone just asked me to come down and play for their local team,” she said. “So I just came down and played for Newtown (and Chilwell) and then from there got involved with Vic Country in my first year, and then there was TAC Cup, Geelong Falcons and then been here ever since.”
Her rapid improvement from picking up the footy to becoming a vital player in the competition was a reality when she was selected to join the AFL Women’s Academy for the 2018 season.
“This is my first year at the Academy,” she said. “It’s really fun, really good, but really good physically as a player, preparing yourself, but also mentally as well.”
Purcell has become known for her competitive nature around the stoppages and her ability to win the ball in tight situations and extract it out of traffic. All attributes which have been on display for the Falcons in their premiership-winning year this year. But like any competitive person, Purcell is not resting on her laurels, determined to get better.
“Id love to keep improving my skills,” she said. “My kicking – get a bit longer kicking – and being my final year, just getting into senior footy probably my body positioning against the older girls.”
The Falcons and Vic Country midfielder is excited about the National AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships coming up, enjoying the fact she can pull on the ‘Big V’ against the most talented players around the country.
Outside of football she has a number of different hobbies, and while the dream is to get drafted, Purcell is just enjoying the moment, and experiences she is gaining from meeting new people.
“I’ve got a lot of different hobbies like surfing, going to the beach, music, playing drums,” she said.
Expect her to be a player to watch at the National AFLW Under 18 Championships, as she is one of a number of top Vic Country midfielders that will strive to win back-to-back titles at the carnival after their success last season.