The Weekly Advertiser Horsham
Friend ‘can’t wait to get stuck in’
Horsham Saints footballer Ella Friend will play AFLW for St Kilda after being selected at pick four in last week’s AFLW Draft.
“It’s surreal, it’s crazy, I can’t wait to get down there and get stuck in,” she said.
“I don’t even know how I feel, I’ve been waiting so long for this. “I didn’t think I’d go that early.” The Greater Western Victoria Rebels player thanked Horsham Saints Football Netball Club, her coaches, family and friends.
“It’s just overwhelming – the club, coaches and friends have made me the best player I could be,” she said.
“It’s been really good to be back playing after COVID and I’ve had a pretty strong season with the Rebels and played two out of three games in national championships for Vic Country. I was injured for one which was a bit disappointing.
“We won all our games which is awesome, and we beat Metro Victoria which was pretty good too.
“Then I got a run down at the Bulldogs in the VFL. It was good to play against the women, I really enjoyed it.”
Ella said she was glad she was born when she was, with doors opening along the way.
“Every time I advanced through the ranks there was a new level of competition for me,” she said.
“It’s rolled out right in front of me, so I’ve been really lucky.”
Ella said she was aware that she was in a ‘sweet spot’ for women’s football.
“I always thought growing up that women’s football was just going to happen, I don’t know why, I just hoped it did and it has,” she said.
Ella, 17, made the age cut-off for the draft by two days. She was born on December 30.
“I just scraped in,” she said.