Drafted Benalla sen­sa­tion bound for cat­tery

Benalla Ensign - - SPORT -

Benalla’s Becky Web­ster is liv­ing the dream. And lov­ing it. What started as a back­yard rivalry in which she was de­ter­mined to be a bet­ter player than her older brother, she fol­lowed him into Aus­kick and then through ju­niors.

And now she has been drafted by ex­pan­sion side Gee­long for the 2019 AFLW season — taken at pick seven in last week’s draft.

But it’s not as if the 18-year-old is a be­gin­ner.

Since Aus­kick kick­started her ca­reer Web­ster has played with Vic­to­ria Coun­try, Mur­ray Bushrangers, Mel­bourne Univer­sity, Mooroopna, Kyabram and as part of Al­lAus­tralian show­case matches — will now ap­pear in the blue and white hoops of Gee­long on the big­gest stage of them all.

Web­ster, who said she loved her re­bound at­tack­ing role on the half-back flank, did not have to wait long for her name to be called after the draft started, with the Cats pick­ing her with their third se­lec­tion.

After nom­i­nat­ing the whole of Vic­to­ria as her draft desti­na­tion — and im­press­ing im­mensely dur­ing the past 18 months — key de­fender Web­ster was al­ways head­ing to one of the six clubs in her home state.

But only Carl­ton (pick three), Collingwood (pick five) and Mel­bourne (six) were given the chance to snaf­fle the teen sen­sa­tion be­fore the Cats pounced.

‘‘I have no words re­ally, it’s so amaz­ing,’’ Web­ster said.

‘‘The nerves were there and then when my name was called out it was amaz­ing, it’s so ex­cit­ing.

‘‘There’s some re­ally good girls who got picked up as well and (Gee­long) is a great club and I’m sure we’ll bring a lot to the ta­ble next season.

‘‘I’ll def­i­nitely (try to slot into) half-back.

‘‘I know if I thank some­one I’ll for­get some­one, but def­i­nitely the coaches I’ve had, the girls I’ve played with and the sup­port I’ve re­ceived from my fam­ily (has been cru­cial).’’

The Cats — along with fel­low new­comer North Mel­bourne — will be look­ing to hit the ground running for their in­au­gu­ral AFLW cam­paign next year and in Web­ster they have found a ready-made de­fender, who can also make an im­pact fur­ther up the field.

With Mooroopna and the Bushrangers Web­ster was dom­i­nant on the field, with her Vic Coun­try ex­ploits draw­ing enough at­ten­tion to make back-to-back Al­lAus­tralian squads as well.

In three VFLW games for Mel­bourne Uni this year, Web­ster av­er­aged more than 10 dis­pos­als, three tack­les and al­most three marks an out­ing and will cer­tainly build on that in­put after com­plet­ing her first pre-season with Gee­long this up­com­ing sum­mer.

Web­ster joins the likes of Mans­field’s Bon­nie Too­good (Western Bull­dogs) among the AFLW ranks.

And yes, she is pretty con­vinced she has turned out a bet­ter foot­baller than her brother.

Blue and white hoops: Benalla footy su­per­star Becky Web­ster has been drafted by Gee­long for the 2019 AFLW season.

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