THINGS at IKON Park look a bit different than they did at the beginning of the year.
With seven new Blues taking the track in 2022, there has been a bit of a shuffle in personnel, either by virtue of new faces or shifts in roles.
While also welcoming talent at the draft, Carlton acquired Phoebe McWilliams and Amelia Velardo in the trade period: Elise O’Dea believes both players are fitting in seamlessly in their new colours.
“Phoebe McWilliams has been around [the competition] for a few years and she’s been excellent for the group,” O’Dea said.
“She provides a lot of leadership on field , the way she launches at the footy and works really hard on the track – it’s great for the younger players to see what an older player can still do and still setting training standards.
“‘Miels’ [Velardo] has been offering a lot of insight into her journey and what she brings out on the track in terms of value and possession. She brings really high standards despite being quite young.”
With two draftees still being at school (Skepper and Austin) and two being mature-age recruits (Goss and Jones), there has been a mix of who has been on and off the track at different times, but O’Dea is impressed with what each and every one of them have brought in their short time at the Blues.
"The new draftees, they’re going really well: Keeley [Skepper], Mia [Austin], Lily Goss and 'Jessie J' [Jones],” she said.
O’Dea has particularly noticed the workrate of Jones, with the 30-year-old making herself known to everyone at the Club since she was drafted on the last day of June.
“'Jessie J' is awesome. She’s lot’s of excitement and like a sponge, she just wants to soak up everything,” she said.
“She comes to all the additional sessions, she’s really putting in with the group to quicken the time it takes to jell with the main group.”
Taylor Ortlepp, who was signed on as a rookie, will join the main group at the end of the WNBL season.