MURRAY Bushrangers bottom-ager, Millie Brown loves to learn.
She has had the privilege in being able to learn in one of the leading TAC Cup Girls sides, alongside coach, Sam Ahmet and AFL Women’s Academy member, Rebecca Webster. Brown says people like this not only help her learn, but make the learning process an enjoyable one.
“It was a bit slow when I was starting because I just transitioned from the boys and I found it a lot different but I’ve had some really good people around me like Sam Ahmet, he’s been my coach at the Bushies for the whole time of being here so him and a lot of the older players like Becky Webster are great to have around,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed it.”
This learning attitude still exists for Brown even though she HAs been playing football for a long time. Her football journey started as a youngster and has now flourished into a thriving career.
“I have (played footy all my life),” the 17 year-old said. “I started Auskick in Grade One, I missed Grade Prep, I was always messing around with the boys at school playing footy and through up until top-age 14s then transitioned over to the girls.”
Since transitioning to the girls, Brown has enjoyed plenty of game time with Murray, playing eight games this season. Brown also made the Vic Country squad for this year’s AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Even before knowing she was in the team, Brown was excited nonetheless.
“I am looking forward to a chance at that (playing nationals),” the Vic Country representative said. “They’re always a great time, a really great standard of footy with all the girls and coaches so yeah I’m looking forward to that. “I’m pretty comfortable with a lot of the girls now, I probably won’t be too nervous heading into that. “I’ll just give it my best shot and see how I go.”
This would not have been possible if Bushrangers coach, Sam Ahmet did not get into contact with Brown’s father, Paul Brown, who played 84 games for Geelong.
“I think Sam got in contact with my Dad actually and I went down and watched one of the trainings when they (Bushrangers) were still with the Bendigo Pioneers,” the 17 year-old said. “Then I joined fully in the next year and I think I played a bit of the V/Line cup.”
Murray endured a difficult TAC Cup Girls campaign this year, and Brown says although she’s disappointed, she was impressed about the attitude shown in the side’s losses.
“We’ve had a few losses and we were expecting to go a bit better than we did,” she said. “But you know, that’s footy, that happens. “I think our team still showed a lot of courage in the games that we did lose so the effort was still really there.”
Looking back, Brown believes that the long travel time was sometimes a factor in the side’s losses.
“Sometimes it can be difficult with long trips, I think we had to travel three hours to go to Oakleigh so that can be a factor but it makes it hard more so with training,” she said. “We’ve got a very spread out squad so we have to travel and an hour and we can only train once a week so it does make it more difficult but you work with it.”
Brown has been able to work with the scattered training, where she has been able to develop her versatility. She believes this is a strength in her game.
“I think I’m quite a versatile player, I think I can pop into different positions comfortably and just do what the coach asks me,” Brown said. “I love to learn and play off the other people around me.”
But being the trademark learner that she is, Brown still has skills in her minds that she would like to improve on.
“I’m really working on my overhead marking at the moment because I’ve grown a lot recently,” she said. “So now that I’m a bit of a bigger body on the field, I need to clunk them.”
Brown is eligible for next year’s AFL Women’s Draft and could be picked up as a father-daughter selection, given her father played for Geelong.