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Downie up for Brisbane battle

Downie 'Blues ticking boxes' Alison Downie spoke with 1116 SEN following the win over Collingwood.

BEFORE joining Carlton, Alison Downie was already a well-known name in the Australian sporting scene.

Downie had enjoyed a 326-game career in the WNBL, playing for the Dandenong Rangers where she was awarded the ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 2002 and played in three WNBL championships.

However, despite her success on the court, Downie was immediately drawn to the opportunity to play the game she grew up loving, joining the Diamond Creek football team in 2012.

“I’m a better footy player than I was a basketballer,” Downie jokingly told 1116 SEN.

“Now people say that I look like a footballer trying to play basketball when I go back. I did love it, but footy wasn’t around for me when I was young.

“I had to look at other sporting avenues, and basketball was one that I picked up and I loved.

“But gee, I love footy.

“I’m pretty blessed to be able to finish my career playing this game.”

 

Despite joining the game later on in her career, the 33-year old showed her natural athleticism, adapting to become a mainstay in Carlton’s two-pronged ruck attack alongside Breann Moody.

Downie’s athleticism and talent has been particularly prevalent this season, as she has often shouldered the majority of the ruck responsibility.

Ranked in the top five rucks in competition, Downie has averaged 16.8 hitouts per game, using her deft touch to give the Blues’ midfielders first use of the ball around the contest.

Joining the Blues in 2017, Downie has seen the 2019 season as the best to date, crediting the next generation of players coming through for raising the standards across the board.

“I think the skills have changed out of sight, particularly this year,” she said.

“You see the young girls coming through and they’re just naturally talented. I think that’s the biggest change.

 

“We’re still just as hard at it in year one, but I think the skills, the movement of the game is really improving. That’s what I’ve noticed the most.” 

The Blues kept their finals hopes alive with a significant win against the Pies last Saturday, with the attention now shifting to another big clash against Brisbane.

It’s a simple equation for the team, with a win on Sunday afternoon going a long way for Carlton’s finals aspirations. It would no doubt be a significant moment for the team and Club as a whole.

The Blues are prepared for a rampaging Lions outfit, who will have something to prove after their disappointing loss to Geelong last week.

“It will be a really big game for us, because they’re coming off a loss last week which I think they’d be pretty disappointed with, particularly after their win the week before against the Doggies,” she said.

“It’s always going to be tough against Brisbane.

“They have a team that’s stuck together for three years. We’re looking forward to it. Lucky it’s at our home ground, but it’s always going to be a tough game.”