AFLW #4 - Maddy Prespakis - four for four

Stop the competition -this wins comment of the year!


My niece barracks for Norf; it is very important we further mess with them.

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Yep. Poach Emma Kearney

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I want them ALL.

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I want everyone in the league to hate us… and fear us.


I’m Peter Holden, and I endorse this message.


Another reason to hate Fark Carlton.

“Once I went to the club, they said I couldn’t barrack for Essendon because it is a rival club.”

And your daily reminder on why we all love Madison Prespakis!

it’s the team I’ve barracked for all my life, so to be able to help build the new AFLW team is really exciting


FORMER AFLW best and fairest Maddy Prespakis has opened up about her intentions to leave Carlton for Essendon, saying the lure of her childhood club was too strong.

Prespakis was at the MCG to help launch the new season of Auskick, describing running around in a Bombers jumper at Gisborne.

“It’s very exciting, it’s still all in the works, but I’ve openly committed to making the move to Essendon. It’s been an exciting week, and it’s the team I’ve barracked for all my life, so to be able to help build the new AFLW team is really exciting,” Prespakis said.

"To be part of the inaugural team is really special. I’ve loved my time at Carlton, and I’ll forever be grateful. I’ve achieved some great things there and been part of a special group of girls.

"My (footy pathway) was no different to the boys at the time, I started Auskick when I was four years old. I went down for pie night and get a free pie after training, and I was just a little girl who wanted to play footy.

“I never looked back and here I am today playing AFLW – I haven’t stopped playing footy since that moment.”

Former teammate Grace Egan was also on hand at the Auskick launch, and confirmed she has received interest from other clubs.

Last week, reported Egan is expected to leave Carlton, with a number of interstate clubs – including expansion side Sydney – in the running for the hard-nosed midfielder.

“I’m happy at Carlton, Carlton has been really good to me. I am out of contract this season, but that’s just for my manager, myself and the Carlton football club to work out. Wherever I end up playing my footy, I’m happy,” Egan said.

“Yeah definitely (we’ve) had clubs approach my manager, but I’m open to anything. Carlton has been very good to me, and I love everyone there, so whatever happens, happens.”

> Grace Egan and Maddy Prespakis celebrate after the R7 clash between Carlton and St Kilda at Ikon Park on February 19, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Prespakis has been an integral part of Carlton since joining the Blues with pick No.3 in the 2018 NAB AFLW Draft, winning the 2020 AFLW best and fairest and three consecutive club counts.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to yourself, and I had to put myself first. It was a tough decision, and it was quite daunting, and those who are really close to me knew exactly how I felt, especially when I did announce the move,” the 21-year-old said.

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"It was quite an emotional time, but also I felt very relieved and happy with what I’ve made for myself. Carlton have helped me in my four years in the AFLW, and three B&Fs, I wouldn’t have done it without that club. I’m very grateful, but I’m also very grateful to start a new chapter of the next five to 10 years of my football career.

“Once I went to the club, they said I couldn’t barrack for Essendon because it is a rival club. I’m sure when that time comes, like with any player who moves, you do expect a few boos, I’ve already received that on social media, so I expect that in person. But at the end of the day, it’s football, and I love football and that’s why I play.”

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She’s basically done a Gavin Wanganeen, but in the correct direction and without the McDonald’s franchise. Childhood club enters the competition… off we go.

Who is the Essendon AFLW list manager?

I heard the FC coach on SEN the other day. I’m not surprised he isn’t universally liked. He made some interesting comments about Maddie and Georgia. I’m glad they are outta there.

Georgia Harvey is listed as the AFLW Contract Manager. Maybe her?

what happens to the VFLW, if we win the flag this year, will next year it be like a reserves comp where all the AFLW players do there offseason there, or we need to recruit more players and it becomes a feeder comp to AFLW?

Someone retrieve my body on the Tuesday.

A decent chunk of this depends on when they end up scheduling the two comps… like the AFLM and VFLM, you can drop players to the lower level but there is no automatic movement the other way. As 1) the seasons may not overlap and 2) the money is zilch to rubbish, there aren’t many players who strongly double up.

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so no financial incentive to do both means unlikely, but if we win and say 10 VFLW players end up on our AFLW list, would they be keen to go back to back in VFLW if seasons align to be able to do this.

Broadly, you see the lesser AFLW players dropping down simply to get game experience. But there are definitely exceptions to that.

If the AFL ever get around to confirming the September start to the next AFLW season, the second half of the VFLW season is going to be interesting as it will overlap time-off between seasons and AFLW training.

I think we’ll still be legit trying to win this year’s VFLW premiership, but some clubs may have different attitudes – e.g. Fark Carlton played ZERO AFLW players in our recent VFLW game (down from 7 in the earlier game).

(Fark Carlton were bugger-all chance of reaching the VFLW finals, though.)

Mostly goals, not much #4 Jobe-ing.


All of the velcro.

P.S. Farked Carlton!


Maddy Prespakis seamlessly slotted into the AFLW competition in 2019 as one of the first of a new generation of women who had the opportunity to play uninterrupted football from juniors onwards.

Crowned the Rising Star in her debut season in 2019, the midfielder went on to win the AFLW best and fairest award the following year. It capped a remarkable rise that saw her earn All-Australian selection and Carlton’s best and fairest in both years.

Again the club best and fairest in 2022, Prespakis has remained loyal, however, to the Blues’ fierce rival and the team she grew up passionately supporting in Essendon.

She sheepishly admitted to continuing to barrack for the Bombers in front of a live audience for the grand final edition of Triple R’s AFLW radio show Kick Like A Girl back in 2019, when her brother arrived in an Essendon scarf.

Kate O’Halloran — who hosted the show — has watched with interest since then, always half-expecting her to make the move to the Hangar.

Much like the situation with Phillips, however, this is more than just a “feel-good” win for Essendon.

Prepakis has consistently rated elite in many of the key midfield categories across her career, including clearances and stoppage clearances (2019-2022).

She also wins the ball on the inside and outside, ranking elite for both contested and uncontested possessions (2019-2022).

But, after setting the bar so high in her first two seasons, Prespakis has not been quite as prolific since ascending to best and fairest in 2020.

She has openly spoken about not coping with the pressure of winning the award or being physically targeted by opposition players — and this is reflected in the dip in some of her statistics.

In seasons 2021 and 2022, for example, she dropped out of the elite category for metres gained and inside 50s, while she also fell out of the elite category for score involvements in 2022.

This may also represent a role change. As Prespakis has continued to develop, her ability to win the ball on the inside has shone at the expense of her skill at using it on the outside.

For example, while down on those other stats, Prespakis’s centre clearances have trended upwards since 2020 (ranking sixth and fifth in 2021 and 2022, compared to 10th and 27th in 2019 and 2020).

Winning possession of the football is still at the heart of winning games, and Prespakis will give the Dons an opportunity to get the ball from day one.

If the Bombers can surround her with effective ball users, Essendon has a chance to make real noise next year.