EVERYONE has different reasons and motivations for playing sports. Whether it’s to be the best in the world or to keep fit, we all have the one thing that drives us to keep going. For Murray Bushrangers ruck Ally Morphett, it’s a simple solution; to enjoy the sport she has excelled at.
“I’m just trying to have fun with my footy,” Morphett said.
“It doesn’t really bother me if I don’t end up at AFLW or not, whether I end up at VFLW, I’m fine with anything at the moment, just to have fun with my footy that’s all.”
Morphett’s philosophy has been something similar throughout her whole football journey. This even applies to her beginnings with the sport, where she only signed up with a ‘why not?’ attitude with some school mates.
Clearly a natural at the sport, the 188cm ruck quickly shot up the ranks, with selections to the state side and All-Australian side coming shortly after. While competing at the state carnival, Morphett was approached by recruiters from the Bushrangers who saw immense potential and offered her a spot in the squad, which was soon accepted.
Three seasons in, Morphett has adapted to the style of football required at the Murray Bushrangers, and is currently enjoying her best season, averaging 11 disposals, 3.2 tackles and 18.6 hitouts per game, all of which are career-highs. This has also resulted in being appointed the captaincy of the Allies side as a well-deserved honour.
The Allies are a side made up of players outside Victoria, and the side competes in the AFLW U19 championships. Unlike sides such as Vic Country and Vic Metro, the Allies get much less preparation, but Morphett says this did not slow the girls down.
“It was really hard for us, we aren’t as other fortunate with camps and everything, so we’ve all sort of come into this program all from different states and territories, and we’ve only had around three days to get to know each other and we didn’t even know each other’s names when we first came in here,” Morphett said.
“I personally think we’ve done really well for our first game just to see how each other played.”
Morphett’s hitout work has always been her strength, with her ability to win ruck contests prominent throughout her short career. She still claims to have plenty of areas to improve on, such as her overhead marking, but her ability to recognise growth areas will help her address these areas.
With plenty of growth to come as a player, Morphett credits her father as her biggest influence, due to his knowledge of her game and ability.
“He knows me really well and he can read me like a book. If I don’t have my kick right and I can’t kick as far, he knows exactly what it is, whether I’m bending over the ball or I’m leaning back when I kick,” Morphett says.
‘He can pick out all the little things that no one else sort of can.”
Morphett isn’t overthinking her future, with her focus being solely on having fun with the support, but with no ceiling on her future, expect the 17-year-old to continue to feature in draft discussions.