Category: Feature Articles

Exam or no exam, I’m getting drafted today

THERE are many dominant midfielders in this year’s AFL Women’s Draft, but Alyce Parker may be the best.

The athletic machine has been smashing various youth girls competition for the last three years, each time with All Australian honours. She is the one player the state of New South Wales (NSW) has been waiting for, a true warhorse that gets the clearances, crashes the packs, and makes the difference between winning and losing. Parker can do it all, including getting drafted to the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants in the morning, and sitting an agriculture exam the same afternoon. Although the day was pretty intense, Parker is used to multitasking.

“I guess it’s what you have to do, and in my circumstance coming from NSW and HSC (High School Certificate) going on this time, it’s unavoidable but definitely manageable,” she said. “I’m looking forward to getting through it.”

Parker comes from a country town, where football thrives in her local community. She played in the boys competitions in her youth until a pathway for women opened up at Parker’s high school.

“Obviously, the country footy is really popular where I come from, and I guess that’s what brings a town together, ” she said. “I probably got into it through the boys, playing with the boys especially at my age, (with) the girls (there) wasn’t the opportunity, but yeah going into high school the girls footy just exploded, and that’s where my journey began.”

It wasn’t always about football for Parker, as she also competed in cricket, basketball, netball, tennis, cross country, and athletics as a junior. With seven different sports, Parker wasn’t sure which direction she was headed in, but ultimately chose football.

“It was probably about 12 months ago I wasn’t sure what to do,” she said.  “I love my netball, my swimming, my tennis. I couldn’t actually choose a sport, and a lot of people kept saying that I needed to, and I wanted to enjoy everything as much as I could. “I guess the decision made itself when I entered back into the NSW pathway again, my third year the amazing people that came in like, Alicia Eva, and Nic (Nicola) Barr, they just drew me to the sport and they’re the reason why I wanted to do football.”

Alicia Eva coached the Eastern Allies this year, with Parker her prized player. Now Parker has become her teammate, and Eva’s response on the GWS GIANTS website was nothing short of positive.

“She covers the ground really well aerobically,” Eva said. “Her ability to break out of traffic, drive her legs through into space and then get the ball moving long is her hallmark trait at the moment. “She’s got really solid hands, so she can go forward and take a grab as well.”

The Giants will begin their 2019 season on February 3 at the Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex. If fit, Parker could be a certainty to face the Lions.

Taking opportunities pays off for Katie Lynch

IN the midst of Year 12, Katie Lynch had a lot on her plate.

She featured in the TAC Cup Girls competition, represented Vic Metro, played for Collingwood in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition and balanced school sport commitments as well. Although it was a difficult situation to be in for Lynch, she says she had no choice but to take those opportunities that came her way.

“Obviously I was a bit under the pump earlier in the year, well at least I put myself under the pump,” Lynch said. “I had the opportunities come my way and I just had to take them and I thought I did that pretty well so it’s got me here. “I’m proud of myself.”

Now, she finds herself on Collingwood’s AFL Women’s list, with the club selecting her with pick 10 in the draft. Lynch says although it was unexpected, she was relieved to hear her name being called out on draft day.

“It was obviously really exciting, probably something I didn’t expect either,” she said. “But I heard my name get read out and yeah it was just a real relieving feeling I guess but I’m excited to get started.”

Lynch has already experienced playing for the Magpies, having played with them in the VFLW, meaning she will be able to continue playing with some familiar faces. This also signals a new opportunity for Lynch to mingle with the new draftees, who she regards quite highly.

“There’s some really exciting players that we’ve drafted as well,” Lynch said. “We’ve got Jordy Allen so I’m just excited, everyone’s great, I know a lot of the faces there which will really help.”

The 18 year-old admits the VFL experience, along with the TAC Cup Girls and AFL Women’s Under 18 competitions, have helped her adapt to different game styles. This is something that she hopes will hold her in good stead for her upcoming stint in the AFL Women’s.

“TAC Cup, Metro, VFL, they all bring a different kind of game,” Lynch said. “They’re each unique in their own way so it was kind of interesting trying to adapt to each game style. “But at the end of the day, you’re just playing footy so it was good.”

Despite the simplicity of playing the game, Lynch admits she is is still coming to terms with being an AFL Women’s footballer, not accustomed to the prestigious title.

“It’s pretty surreal, hard to believe, really,” she said. “But I guess I’ll start believing it once everything really kicks off into pre-season but at the moment, it’s really surreal.”

Growing up as a Richmond supporter, Lynch has quickly adapted to the black and white, donning the stripes for both the Oakleigh Chargers and Collingwood Magpies this year. Now she will have the opportunity to continue to dominate in those colours at the highest level.

Opportunity becomes a reality for Webster

REBECCA Webster first joined TAC Cup Girls side, the Murray Bushrangers as a 14 year-old.

At that point in time, Webster admits the opportunity to play in a nationwide female Australian Rules competition was looking unlikely. But four years later, the 18 year-old is living out her dream; drafted by Geelong at pick seven.

“I’m really lost for words,” Webster said. “I never thought the day would come that we’d be sitting in there, so to get my name read out with the Geelong Cats was something I’ll remember forever and cherish.”

The occasion was even more special for Webster, as she had turned 18 the day before she got drafted, prompting a perfect birthday present. Before draft day though, Webster had contact with the Cats and says they were very engaging when trying to get her to the club.

“They were really good people and I know quite a lot of girls from Geelong,” Webster said. “They were very inviting. “They just wanted regional girls that were going to produce some great use coming through and I think that they’ve really done that with the picks they’ve picked.”

Webster joins the club alongside fellow Vic Country representatives such as Nina Morrison, Sophie Van De Heuvel and Georgia Clarke. She knows all these players well and looks forward to continuing her football journey with them.

“All the girls that are going to be playing down at Geelong, they’re really good girls and they know how to play footy,” Webster said. “We’ve got a really good bond so I think playing alongside them will be really good.”

Representing Vic Country over the years has been a valuable experience for Webster, who has modelled her game off one particular teammate who is now on an AFL Women’s list.

“I think I’m quite an individual but I’d love to think that I play kind of like Darcy Guttridge, she’s quite an attacking half-back player,” she said.

Like many up and coming players do, Webster also has some football idols. While Webster’s admired female footballer is a common admired name, she looks up to one of the more interesting characters of the men’s game.

“Probably Daisy Pearce (is my football idol),” the 18 year-old said. “From the males, (I like) Jason Akermanis. “When I was younger, I just thought he was cool.”

Webster spent some time this year with Melbourne University. While it was a big step-up, she says it was a valuable experience.

“The step was more so body size to get used to but other than that, I really enjoyed it and thought I fitted in pretty well,” Webster said.

The midfielder/ defender had to balance this along with playing in other teams, going to school and working. This can be a stressful prospect for anyone, but Webster admits she learnt how to juggle these commitments through football.

“With Year 12 and studies and all that sort of stuff alongside footy and work commitments, it’s obviously a very big juggle,” she said. “But with the footy side of things, I’ve learnt a lot of time management so that’s really helped this year.”

Now looking ahead to 2019, Webster hopes to use these lessons at her new AFL Women’s club. She also hopes to utilise her strengths in her game to make the most of her time at the Cats.

“I’m quite happy playing half-back flank down there,” Webster said. “But playing in different positions is something that I look forward to trying out and definitely with senior footy, you can be chucked anywhere.”

Collingwood draftee, Jordyn Allen “couldn’t think of a better club to be at”

JORDYN Allen had been in contact with a couple of clubs heading into the AFL Women’s Draft.

But she had no idea which club would pick her up. The Pies ended up selecting Allen at pick five, and the 18 year-old is overwhelmed about her opportunity to pull on the black and white.

“I kind of just burst into tears when my name got called out,” Allen said. “I didn’t expect to have that sort of reaction but I honestly couldn’t think of a better club to be at and absolutely stoked to be in the black and white.”

Allen plays a similar role to Collingwood’s reigning Best and Fairest winner, Chloe Molloy. Both are attacking half-backs, but offer versatility through the midfield as well. The Dandenong Stingrays captain hopes she can make a similar impact to Molloy.

“I offer the half-back, a bit of attacking so I look up to Chloe in terms of her versatility,” Allen said. “So just like she got put forward and through the midfield, I hope that I can perform the same role for Collingwood.”

Allen led the Stingrays this year in the TAC Cup Girls competition and was named in the best in seven out of the eight games she played. She says Dandenong has played a huge part in helping her get to where she is today.

“The Stingrays have given me so much support,” Allen said. “It’s been phenomenal. “It’s sad to leave them I guess but I’ll always be connected to the Stingrays and always be a Stingray girl at heart.”

Being the club captain enabled Allen to add a new element to her game. She developed her leadership skills remarkably and was rewarded with a chance to captain Vic Country this year. Now, she has the opportunity to one day be a leader at the Pies.

“Being a leader’s definitely another aspect of my game that you have to kind of bring beyond your footy skills and it’s been awesome, you get to know people really well,” Allen said. “You get to see a different side of people that you don’t get to really see and create those bonds you don’t usually get to make so it’s been awesome and the footy’s been amazing this year. “We’ve had some really awesome opportunities and couldn’t be more thankful for all of the people who got me here.”

At Collingwood, Allen has the opportunity to play alongside former Vic Country representative, Darcy Guttridge. The 18 year-old is looking forward to playing alongside one of her favourite teammates at an elite level.

“I played a fair bit of junior football with her and watched her get drafted last year,” Allen said. “She didn’t play due to injury but played a bit of VFL (Victorian Football League) with her this year and she’s probably one of the best teammates I could have. “She’s definitely someone I look up to and I can’t wait to play with her again.”

As a junior, Allen knew that she was always going to do whatever her brother did. So when he picked up a football, so too did Allen. Now, she will be picking up a football in the highest level of female football in Australia, in what is truly a dream come true for the talented leader.

Jasmin Stewart not ready then, but ready now

IN 2016, Jasmin Stewart entered the first ever AFL Women’s draft as a member of the All-Australian Youth Girls Team. Unfortunately, even with her credentials, she missed out, but Stewart was not surprised. Now in 2018, she has been selected by Fremantle at pick four, and according to Dockers TV, Stewart is ready to go.

“I was in the Freo (Fremantle) academy for 10 weeks (in 2016),” she said. “I know when I nominated for the draft a few years ago I probably wasn’t ready. This year, I really do feel ready to take it to the next level.”

Since her rejection from AFL Women’s clubs, she has been honing her skills at the Claremont football club for the last two years. The Tigers have had a poor season for 2018, but one of their shining lights throughout the year was their Best and Fairest, Jasmin Stewart. Her position on the field can vary from the midfield to half-forward flank, making her a versatile player.

Stewart and her family have always been passionate Fremantle supporters, and though her family couldn’t make the trip, she knew they’d be watching at home.

“Mum, I imagine she’d be crying, or really screaming,” she said. “At work, she’s watching the draft, so she’ll be really stoked.  My brothers are also watching, crossing their fingers at work as well, but I know they’ll be very proud.”

Football seems to run in the family, with her older brother, who also plays football, influenced his younger sister to follow in his footsteps. On the Dockers website, Stewart spoke of his influence.

“My brother played footy and I just wanted to do everything that he did when I was little,” she said. “He always likes to say that he taught me everything I know, but he sort of has. We’re very close and we still kick the footy around now.”

Although Stewart is an athlete that has contributed in other sports, it appears the family influence has rubbed off on her. She chose to reject other sports, and dedicate her life to football.

“I just pretty much played footy all my life,” Stewart said. “I have done sports here and there but just mainly footy.”

Fremantle has had two poor years of AFLW, but with the inclusion of Stewart playing alongside Docker jets such as Dana Hooker, and Kara Donnellan, the Dockers could be on the rise.

Prepare to get Gore’d

SHE’S been a favourite from the south for a while now, but Nikki Gore is still excited after being taken with Adelaide’s first pick in the 2018 AFLW draft.

“It’s an awesome experience,” she said. “I can’t wait to get started for the Crows.”

Like most up and coming players, Gore played in the local boys competition, but a soon as an opportunity finally opened up for girls, she grabbed it. Last year, Gore entered the South Australian National Football League Women’s (SANFLW) competition, playing for South Adelaide. This year, the Panthers won the premiership, but the midfielder’s credentials don’t stop there. Gore had the privilege of being a part of the very first NT Thunder women’s team, made the AFL Women’s Under 18 All-Australian squad for 2018, and was also selected in the SANFLW Team of the Year as ruck-rover.

Gore averaged 19.5 disposals in the SANFLW, which was the highest in the league. With the likes of Angela Foley, Chelsea Randall and Erin Phillips, the Adelaide Crows have bolstered their already impressive midfield to new heights. The only thing more impressive for Gore was when Randall called out her name, and handed Gore her jumper.

“Getting Chelsea Randall out there today to present me was incredible,” she said. “I can’t wait to get alongside them, and get to know some of the other girls, and work with some of the new draftees as well.”

Gore has been a passionate Crows supporter, but when asked if she had any intention of seeking opportunities interstate, she confirmed her passion was staying in her home state.

“My heart was stuck with South Australia,” she said. “I’d like to stay at home and all the girls have been really welcoming. It’s going to be awesome to be playing in my home state, with all the family, and friends supporting.”

Gore, as well as fellow draftee Katelyn Rosenzweig, have an advantage that few other players have. The young Crows have trained alongside Adelaide premiership players in the South Australian academy as well as play with them during their time at NT Thunder. Gore is happy to carry that experience into the 2019 AFLW season.

“I’ve trained on with the Crows for a few years,” she said. “It’s going to be pretty good to be a part of that team now, and be alongside some really great players, (I) can’t wait for the experience.”

The Crows are poised to mount a comeback to redeem themselves on their previous season, which was battered by injury. They have already suffered by the departures of Ruth Wallace, and Jess Allan, but perhaps a shot of young talent may turn the tide.

Lifelong footballer Prespakis finally gets to pull on an AFLW jumper

Madison Prespakis’ football journey began at her local club, Romsey as a four year-old.

She played Australian Rules with the boys from Auskick level up to Under 14s, where she was told she had to stop playing football. Now, Prespakis has grasped an opportunity she never thought she would receive. She was selected at pick three in the AFL Women’s Draft, and was the first metropolitan player selected. Prespakis is over the moon to be playing at Carlton, admitting this opportunity looked dead and gone four years ago.

“It’s been a long time coming and for me,” she said. “I thought my career was going to be cut short with the boys. “I didn’t think I’d get this opportunity. “Now that it’s come ahead, I really jumped at it with both hands and worked as hard as I could. “Dreams come true, it’s not fake because it actually happens and for me, it’s come true. “I’m just so happy.”

Prespakis admits she still remembers her time at Romsey, and is thankful for not only her experience at that club, but all of her junior clubs.

“I reflect on those days a lot,” she said. “I went down there (Romsey) a few weeks ago. “For me, that was my home and I was always down there playing with the boys and yeah, I just love everything about that club. “I’m very thankful for them and thankful for every pathway I’ve had to come through to get where I am today.”

Since playing at Romsey, Prespakis has enjoyed time at the Sunbury Lions and the Calder Cannons, excelling at both clubs. At the Lions, she was named best-on-ground in her last Under-18 premiership with the club, while at the Calder Cannons, she won the Best and Fairest this year. Prespakis’ family has been there all the way through, and she is extremely grateful for their support through her football journey.

“For my family, I think it’d mean everything to them to see me achieve the dream that I’ve always really wanted to since I was a little girl,” Prespakis said. “I know my Dad will be so proud of me. “He’s been there from the start to now and unfortunately for my Dad, he has to take that little step back and let me do what I’m doing but it’s all thanks to them.”

Her family was also the reason why she decided to nominate for the Victorian metropolitan region. The decision knocked back her chances of being selected at number one to head to Geelong, but Prespakis says she doesn’t regret her decision.

“Geelong did obviously come into talk and for me, my family comes first,” she said. “For me to be close to the home, I felt that I had to be in a Melbourne-based team. “After nominating metropolitan for the draft, I didn’t have any regrets. “Now I’m a ‘blue bagger’ so I’m really excited.”

The player that did get selected at pick number one, Nina Morrison, has been right up there with Prespakis all year. The pair were the joint winners of the TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest and shared the AFL Women’s Under 18 Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Prespakis couldn’t speak more highly of the Geelong midfielder, and believes she will excel at the Cats.

“Obviously we go back to back with a few things together,” the Vic Metro midfielder said. “She’s a package player. “She is where she is today because of hard work and yeah, she deserves everything that comes her way.”

Focusing on her own football future, Prespakis wants to keep playing her style of football in Carlton colours.

“I suppose just for me, I just want to play good footy and keep playing the footy I play and play my role,” she said. “My first goal probably now is to get through pre-season and hopefully tick off Round 1.”

Van De Heuvel ready to become next Jess Duffin

NEW Geelong Cats draftee, Sophie Van De Heuvel is not only a promising footballer.

The 18 year-old is also handy with the bat in hand, representing Victoria in cricket this year. Playing under Jess Duffin at Williamstown, who plays in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) for the Melbourne Renegades, has inspired Van De Heuvel to continue to juggle both sports in 2019.

“She’s (Duffin) been incredible for me,” Van De Heuvel said. “I’ve learnt a lot from her especially being at cricket too so I’ve had a few discussions with her just about juggling both sports which has been amazing. “I’ll look to hopefully get a Big Bash contract but yeah, see how that goes.”

She is also honoured to have the chance at representing an elite club at the highest level of competition for both football and cricket. Van De Heuvel reflects on the current players juggling both sports at an elite level.

“I guess going to the pathway the same as Jess Duffin and Emma Kearney, it’s been really exciting.”

But above that, Van De Heuvel is ecstatic to be playing at the Cats in the 2019 AFL Women’s competition.

“It’s a massive honour to be drafted to Geelong,” she said. “I guess as a little girl, it’s a dream come true so yeah, such a surreal feeling and I can’t be happier. “I’m looking forward to being at Geelong, and starting their AFL journey so yeah, that’ll be really good.”

Van De Heuvel’s name was called out after Nina Morrison’s at the AFL Women’s Draft, and the Vic Country representative is excited about playing alongside Morrison in the blue and white hoops.

“Nina’s an awesome girl,” Van De Heuvel said. “She’s got a lot of potential so it’s really good to be drafted alongside her and can’t wait for her future.”

The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels forward was also joined at Geelong by Rebels defender, Georgia Clarke. The pair have played together all year in the TAC Cup Girls competition and are both a part of the AFL Women’s Academy. Van De Heuvel is looking forward to continuing her football journey alongside Clarke.

“Georgia’s an amazing girl and amazing player so to be drafted with her and playing at the same club is an amazing feeling,” she said.

Van De Heuvel still lives in Ballarat at the moment, but is looking to make the move over to Geelong ahead of her berth in the AFL Women’s competition next year.

First pick, Morrison “super excited” to play for Geelong

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.”

Ten-hour round trip to training highlights Roux’s dedication

WESTERN Australia forward, Roxanne Roux used to dedicate a full day to football training.

Living in rural Western Australia, Roux had to stay home from school every Monday to prepare for her five-hour trip to training.

Roux says this placed a lot of pressure on her single mother, who also had to make time to take care of Roux and her five brothers.

“I have two younger brothers that were left at home every Monday when I went (to training),” Roux said. “They were about seven and eight, maybe a little bit older then. “We used to have people coming over just to check on them. “It takes a fair chunk of time and you miss out a lot on your brothers and siblings, and especially for Mum, missing out on school assemblies on a Monday and they got awards, we missed out on them.”

But despite the negatives, Roux was driven by her love for the game. Her passion and dedication have combined to mould her into a footballer with a very bright future. She may also have her brothers to thank for that.

“My brothers always played footy,” Roux said. “I have five brothers, three of them are older so they all played footy and I was always at the local club and everything like that.”

One day, Roux went from being at the local club to playing for it, as she signed up to play Auskick. From there, her love for football just kept growing, and no other sport could deter her love for Australian Rules.

“I went to one of the Auskick volunteers and asked ‘can I join in?’,” she said. “So I joined in and I stuck that year out in Auskick, got moved up to super 8s. “(I) Made the state team in Year 7 when I was 12 years old and I just continued to try out for state teams since then. “I played a lot of other sports but footy has kept pulling me back.”

The 16 year-old says that the reason football may be pulling her back is because of the enjoyment factor within the sport.

“It’s just so much fun,” she said. “I can’t really put a finger on it but there’s just something about it that keeps pulling me back. “It’s just the fast pace, the intensity of everything, just enjoying a team sport as well. “I did lots of other sports that weren’t team-based sometimes but it’s just a great environment to be around.”

It’s easy to see that Roux is enjoying her football, as she had a solid outing in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships representing Western Australia. At local level, Roux became a premiership player with her side, East Fremantle, where she chipped in with 15 goals from 12 games. But being the dedicated player she is, Roux admits she still has room to improve.

“I definitely think (I need to improve on) not getting caught at a stoppage when people go past because there’s a couple of times in every game that you always catch yourself out no matter how switched on you think you are,” she said. “Pretty much my footy game brain needs to have switched on a bit more in the games.”

Roux is working hard to improve on these assets of the game in order to play in football’s prime competition. Of course, the 16 year-old would love to play AFL Women’s, but will still strive for the highest level of football underneath if her name isn’t called out in next year’s draft.

“That’s (AFLW) the ultimate goal and what I’ve been working towards this whole time I’ve been playing,” Roux said. “If I don’t get there then so be it, I’ll still keep going at my highest level.”

Away from football, Roux keeps is simple, and possesses a unique hobby.

“It’s a little bit embarrassing to admit that I have an interest in poetry and writing and stuff like that,” the Western Australia forward said. “I have won awards and things like that for writing.”

Roux is eligible for next year’s AFL Women’s Draft, so another exciting year beckons for her in her Under 18s career.