EASTERN Ranges co-captain, Charlotte Wilson is only into her third year of football, but has made the most of the opportunities that have come her way.
In this short period of time, she was asked to play for and co-captain the Eastern Ranges, represented Vic Metro and on top of that, made her Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s debut for the Southern Saints. The 17 year-old reflects on her journey, as she went from a casual school footballer to an elite VFL Women’s footballer.
“I first started playing at school a few years ago but I never really played local,” Wilson said. “Then last year I started playing TAC for Eastern Ranges and I’d touched a footy like twice in my life. “This year I was kind of more, not expecting it, but felt comfortable (playing for Eastern).”
Into only her second year of the program, Wilson was named co-captain along with Emerson Woods. The defender/ruck was privileged to receive the opportunity and loved having the support of Woods during the year.
“It was exciting but I think it’s a good opportunity to just bring everyone else up and help everyone else out,” Wilson said. “It was good to have like someone else to rely on instead of just feeling it all myself. We could just take turns to do everything.”
She and Woods led the side to six wins and three losses this year, and although the wins were enjoyable, Wilson admits that the losses were a bit disappointing.
“The few losses were a bit disappointing but the wins were good for everyone to get up and about,” the 17 year-old said. “But I think they kind of made the losses hurt more.”
Wilson herself has had a personal win, being selected to represent Vic Metro at the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. She is not only excited by the opportunity but is also looking forward to furthering her knowledge and skills.
The Ranges co-captain had the opportunity to do so a fortnight ago, donning the big ‘V’ at GMHBA Stadium and having a solid performance. She followed this up by debuting for the Southern Saints a week later, as she continues to make the most of her opportunities to play Aussie Rules.
Wilson’s week rotates between basketball and football, as she combines her two sporting loves during her final year of high school. But now with the AFLW up and running – and booming – Wilson believes that football is the right sporting path for her to follow.
“I’m leaning towards footy because it’s given me more opportunities than basketball has in my shorter period of time,” she said. “It’s achievable (playing AFLW), it’s there. “It’s not just something that’s up in the clouds that you’re never going to reach but if you work hard, the pathway is there.”