CARLTON has bolstered its tall stocks with the acquisition of Mia Austin through the 2022 NAB AFL Women’s Draft.
The No.18 pick in the draft, Austin was named in the ruck in the NAB League Team of the Year, being a standout performer for the Eastern Ranges over the course of the season and earning Vic Metro selection in the process.
Austin is still having trouble believing the reality she is in, being picked up by the Carlton Football Club.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in yet, but it’s really cool,” Austin said.
“I didn’t expect it, [the draft] was definitely better than I expected.”
Austin traditionally has a high-jump background, not having played football for all that long before making an immediate impact in the Eastern Ranges.
While Austin did want to play footy in her early days, there weren’t as many pathways for her to follow as a young girl.
What Austin brings to the Blues will lie in her aerial ability, with a very impressive jump standing out to recruiters.
“I went to state twice for high jump,” she said.
“I did Auskick when I was little but I started with the boys in 2011: there weren't any girls clubs yet so I just joined a boys one.
“It was special, you’d always dream that you’d have a pathway like that, so for it to actually happen is pretty cool.
“[My best assets are] aerial marking, tackle pressure and follow-up work: I'm very competitive.”
Austin has had some experience with a Moody twin in the ruck, but it was through Brea’s sister Celine, who took the young ruck under her wing at the Ranges.
“I know Brea Moody’s sister Celine, so I kind of heard a bit about Brea,” she said.
“She came down to a few of our Eastern trainings and did some ruck craft with us.”
Austin will now get familiar with Moody as well as Jess Good, applying her ruck craft to her work in attack: she's hopeful she can take some knowledge from their games to add to her own.
It was stated by Carlton's General Manager of Women's Football Brett Munro that while she can ply her trade in the ruck, it's her prowess as a key forward which sets her apart.
“I think everyone plays their role a bit differently so you can always take something from what they do and implement it into what you do,” she said.
“[I’m looking forward to] meeting everyone, being able to develop further as a player and a person.”