MADDY Prespakis is a name that has become synonymous with the Game Changers.

Boasting a Rising-Star award, an All-Australian selection, two Club Best and Fairest awards and a league Best and Fairest award all at the age of 21, it’s hard not to focus on Prespakis’ already illustrious career. 

However Prespakis admits she didn’t know how to deal with the pressure that was built around her externally, and perhaps didn’t get the best out of herself in 2021. 

“With 2021, I walked away, not disappointed but unsatisfied,” Prespakis said. 

“I didn’t achieve what I wanted to individually and I feel I didn’t contribute as best I could.”

Prespakis by no means had an underwhelming 2021 season, averaging 21 disposals and four tackles a game, but getting time and space on the ball was definitely an obstacle with a new-found target on her back for the opposition. 

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“I felt as soon as I got the ball I was getting smashed left right and centre,” she said. 

“Something that I worked on and I know now is that I need to physically prepare myself really well but also mentally prepare myself.” 

With the Carlton side touted as premiership favourites at the beginning of 2021, missing finals left the Club confused and in disbelief according to the star midfielder. 

She acknowledged that it was a disappointing outcome, but also has given the side a place to start for the 2022 season. 

“It was just something that we didn't plan for, and the start of the season didn't set us up for the second half,” she said.

“We walked away with a lot of key learnings and we go forward knowing exactly what we want to do.” 

The Carlton list has lost significant age and experience over the off-season, but Prespakis is excited to step up as a leader and join the likes of her experienced teammates in guiding the Club forward. 

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“We've still got Elise O’Dea and Brea Moody and players like that that have been in there for so long,” she said. 

“We do have that leadership around us and I think if anything, it gives the young girls an opportunity to step up and make their mark. 

‘I’m also excited to take a few under my wing and sort of teach them a thing or two and for them to teach me a thing or two as well.”