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.”