TWO years ago, Geelong Falcons midfielder, Nina Morrison had never played football.
Now, in the midst of Year 12 studies, the 18 year-old has been the first player selected to play for Geelong’s first AFL Women’s side. She is looking forward to starting at her new club and says other players should be honoured to be selected as well.
“I can’t wait to get into pre-season, meet all the other girls and just get stuck into it really,” Morrison said. “But at the same time, I think it’s important to recognise that with all the different regions and states you can nominate, there’s effectively quite a few girls going at pick one for their region so it’s a big honour for those girls as well.”
One of those girls that got picked first in their region was Calder Cannons captain, Madison Prespakis. Prespakis was selected at pick three and went to Carlton. She was the first metropolitan player selected in the draft. Morrison and Prespakis have shared a lot of awards this year, both taking home the TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest as well as the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships Most Valuable Player (MVP). Morrison says Prespakis motivated her to improve her game.
“Obviously Maddy and I shared quite a bit this year,” she said. “We didn’t get the chance to play together too often, I think we only played together in one game at Adelaide. “But yeah, she’s obviously a really talented player and works really hard on her game so it’s good to be able to sort of push yourself off her. “She deserves everything that comes her way.”
Prespakis and Morrison also shared the pressure of being touted as the number one draft pick. The Geelong Falcons midfielder felt it more so after Prespakis nominated for the Victorian metropolitan region, ruling her out of being the first pick of the AFL Women’s Draft. Morrison admits that she had to divert from thinking about being picked at number one and focus on her game.
“I think you’ve just got to push it (pressure) to the the side a little bit, not take it too seriously,” Morrison said. “Especially earlier in the year, I just focused on playing some good footy, working hard on my game and then just sort of not read too much into it I suppose. “I’m just super excited to get picked up and I wasn’t really too fussed whether I went one or not.”
Morrison, a lifelong Geelong supporter, is starstruck about playing in the AFL Women’s competition.
“It’s a pretty weird sort of thing to consider,” she said. “Like two years ago and even at the start of this year, I would’ve never thought I’d be in the sort of position that I am. “It’s a weird thing to wrap your head around but I’m sure I’ll get there.”
The 18 year-old has always been involved in sports, admitting it’s something that has always featured in her life.
“From when I was younger, I’ve always played a lot of sports,” Morrison said. “I’ve done Nippers and swimming, tennis, soccer, so yeah I’ve been very sporty all my life but only recently got into football. “But I’ve always had a passion for sports. “It’s always been part of my life.”
Her passion for football would have never come to fruition if her Dad did not send her to a talent ID day. She was in Year 10 at the time and admits she may have to thank him for his deed. Morrison also says her TAC Cup Girls team, the Geelong Falcons, have played a huge role in her development.
“I started down at a talent ID day at Deakin when I was in Year 10,” she said. “Basically from there, just got asked to play Falcons and played that for the last couple of years and that’s been really important in my development. “I couldn’t speak more highly of everyone at the Falcons.”
Now, moving onto the next chapter of her life, Morrison explains to Cats fans what she has to offer.
“I provide a lot of outside run and I work really hard so I’ve got a really good work ethic,” she said. “Second efforts and intensity is a big part of my game.”