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Dalton ‘stoked’ to be rookie-listed

A thank-you to our 2018 members On behalf of the Carlton Football Club, Brendon Bolton and Marc Murphy thank our 56,000-plus members for their unwavering support in 2018.

AFTER a successful three years playing rugby sevens, Chloe Dalton decided to risk it all, code-switching to Aussie Rules.

Prior to moving to Melbourne to pursue an opportunity with Carlton, Dalton was playing rugby full-time and won a coveted gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics with the Australian sevens team.

After achieving the ultimate prize, Dalton said she wanted a fresh start and a new challenge – even though it was a scary and unknown prospect. 

“I just wanted something different,” she said.

“I had been training full-time with the Australian rugby sevens and I finished up my physiotherapy degree at the end of last year, so it was a pretty exhausting time.

“I was given the chance to play part-time with Carlton VFLW and work as a physiotherapist as well, which influenced the decision.”

Although the opportunity at Carlton was, in the end, too good to refuse, Dalton says it was a tough decision to make.

“To risk moving to another sport with a lot of unknowns, it was a big decision,” she said.

“I was feeling like I was making a fair bit of progress with rugby and we had a lot of success. 

Dalton’s family of fanatical rugby fans were initially sceptical about the code-switch, but eventually came around to the idea. 

“My family were very surprised that I wanted to have a crack at AFLW,” Dalton said.

“But we all watched the last couple of AFLW seasons on TV and I guess to see the opportunity and growth in the competition, they thought ‘why not give it a crack’.”

The risky move paid dividends, as Dalton, along with fellow rugby sevens convert Brooke Walker, were rewarded with AFLW rookie contracts at Carlton after strong debut seasons in the VFLW. After receiving the news that she was being rookie-listed, Dalton said the move to the Blues was worth the risk. 

“To have the opportunity to play with Carlton in the AFLW definitely confirmed the decision and made all those risks worth it,” she said.

Playing on a wing throughout the VFLW, Dalton has been a consistent performer for the Blues. While she’s not a high disposal-getter, Dalton makes up for it with searing pace, evasive skills and ferocious tackling that previously made her a valued member of the rugby sevens gold-medal team.

As a professional sportswoman for numerous years, Dalton has constantly had goals in mind, but she admits she hasn’t set any targets for the upcoming AFLW season.

“I don’t even know yet, I haven’t set any goals. At the moment, I’m just stoked to have signed on as a rookie.”

As for the rugby career that she’s put on hold, Dalton hasn’t closed the door on adding to the 16 caps she already has under her belt. Though she ensures that she’s totally focused on AFLW for now.

“I’d definitely consider the possibility of having a crack at Tokyo in 2020,” she said.

“But I’m really enjoying myself down here at the moment and I’m just going to see how AFLW 2019 goes and that’s the focus for now.”