FOR Charlotte Wilson, returning to IKON Park for pre-season after the past two years of disruption has felt like a homecoming.
“The last two years with COVID, we haven’t been able to have the access to the club that we usually would,” Wilson explained.
“It was really good to come back in, use the facilities and see the girls again.”
Wilson cited being reunited with her Carlton teammates as the highlight of pre-season thus far, with an off-field focus on culture creating a tight-knit bond among the Game Changers.
“We’ve done a lot of culture work this pre-season – that’s really impacted everyone," she said.
“I feel like we’re all quite connected this year and have a really good understanding of what makes everyone tick.
“The off-field connection really transfers to an on-field connection.”
This on-field connection is particularly evident within the backline, noted as one of the most cohesive in the competition.
Despite being only 20 years of age, Wilson has stood tall down back alongside senior players such Mua Laloifi, Gab Pound, and skipper Kerryn Harrington which has helped to fuel leadership ambitions of her own.
“I’d love to help out the younger girls coming through," she said.
“A few of them have a lot of questions – I don’t always know the answer so sometimes I pass to Kez [Harrington], but between us we can usually find an answer.”
Off the football field, Wilson has recently completed a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science.
“I don’t feel like I’ve got any weight off my shoulders yet because I think I want to do more study,” Wilson said of her future aspirations.
After completing her placements through the Carlton College of Sport with Steve Moore, Carlton’s AFLW Strength and Conditioning Coach, Wilson has her eye on becoming a dietitian.
“I like the idea of being able to work in sport or outside of sport.”
With no shortage of resources at her fingertips around the Club, Wilson is well set to make that a reality.
"You've got to get your foot in the door in the industry – that's what they say – you've got to know people.
"I think I know some people."