The Gladiators congratulates its first female draftee, Eleanor Brown (63 games for GIJFC), on being drafted to the AFLW with the Western Bulldogs.
Read her recent interview with Club legend Jan Gnatt.
Glen Iris, December 2018
JG: Congratulations Elsa on being drafted. What does it feel like to get the chance to play AFLW?
EB: It feels really exciting to get the opportunity! I’m definitely nervous and have a lot to improve on but just can’t wait to get into training and work towards getting a game.
JG: When did you first think the dream was going to become reality?
EB: Right up until my name was called out I was still unsure whether or not it would happen so there was a lot of uncertainty all year. Although meeting with the different club recruiters at home and at the combine gave me a bit more hope that something could happen.
JG: What are you looking forward to about AFLW?
EB: Definitely most looking forward to hopefully playing my first game.
JG: When did you start playing football and why?
EB: I started in about year 8 or 9. I had always wanted to play but my parents actually didn’t let me and I had netball training on Sunday mornings anyway. Luckily ‘Hoops’ told dad that the girls team needed fill ins so he finally let me join and I just worked around netball.
JG: What other sports did you play or still play as a junior?
EB: Over the years I’ve done heaps of different sports- especially going to Loreto there was lots of options and I ended up trying most of them. Currently I just play netball twice a week and do some athletics which I love.
JG: What has made a difference to your career?
EB: Obviously all the coaches I’ve had over the years have made a huge difference for my career and they’ve all gone above and beyond to help us girls. Also, because I started footy slightly older I’ve noticed that skills from other sports have really helped and translated across.
JG: Who was you first coach at the Gladiators? What did he/she teach you?
EB: My first coach was ‘Hoops’ and he was awesome. As I said earlier he was the reason I got started and a lot of us were starting from scratch so he taught everyone so much. All the girls loved him and he was a great coach.
JG: What was your favourite training drill?
EB: Scratch match
JG: What is your best memory of playing for the Gladiators?
EB: I just loved playing games with my friends so there isn’t really one that stands out. We did make a couple of grand finals but never won.
JG: How many girls were at the club when you started?
EB: I think there was just the one team so probably about 20.
JG: What was your favourite food from the canteen?
EB: Hot dogs for sure. Gladiators always had the best in the league!
JG: What message would you have for the 200 Gladiator girls across 9 teams in 2018?
EB: Probably just to have fun and enjoy it all.
JG: On behalf of all Gladiators players, parents and community members we would like to congratulate you on being the first girl drafted into the AFLW. Good luck, keep up the good work and we look forward to watching your success unfold in season 2019. Hopefully we can also get you down to club next year to help out with the development of girls footy.
Glen Iris Junior Football Club, more commonly known as the “Gladiators”, was founded in 1987. We are a Melbourne based Junior Australian Rules Football Club with 685 registered players including nine girls teams.
The Gladiators community wishes to also congratulate Will Kelly (103 games for GIJFC) and Will Hayes (13 games for GIJFC) on being drafted to respective clubs, Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs.
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