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Pathways paying off

Lucas-Rodd on journey to AFLW Tilly Lucas-Rodd spoke with Women's Australian Rules Football Radio about the Pride Game and her journey to the AFLW.

TILLY Lucas-Rodd believes fans are beginning to see the direct benefits of the increased pathways for female footballers.

With more programs emerging right around the country, Lucas-Rodd spoke positively of the increasing opportunities for young female footballers and the direct impact it is having on the way the game is being played.

The Blues have benefitted immensely from younger players with both Georgia Gee and Madison Prespakis receiving NAB AFLW Rising Star nominations for their individual performances this season. 

Prespakis, in particular, has blown the wider AFLW community away in her debut season demonstrating how bright the future is for the competition.

“Being able to watch Maddy, and what she can do…it’s just exciting for women’s football,” said Lucas-Rodd in an interview with Women's Australian Rules Football Radio.

“I’m excited to see what these young girls can bring in. 

“These girls would have been involved in pathways right from Auskick. There’s no limit on how good these girls will be coming. Maddy has proved how good they will be.”

 

Now in her third season with the Blues, the 22-year old believes the team has the depth in their list to be able to compete against any team in the competition.

The off-season additions of youngsters like Prespakis, as well as more matured footballers in Jess Edwards, and code hoppers Chloe Dalton and Brooker Walker have resulted in a well-rounded Carlton team. 

“We’ve built a really good list,” said Lucas-Rodd

“We’ve got people who are just finding their feet in AFLW, but we’ve also been able to bring in people like Jess Edwards – who is a fitness freak, and she goes hard, and the same with Milly (Mullane) she’s a bull.

“I think together, our list is coming of age. We’re gelling quite well at the moment.”

The team couldn’t be finding their strides at a better time of the year.

Having put the disappointment of last year behind them, and finding rhythm under new coach Daniel Harford, the Blues are in a position to secure their first ever spot in the AFLW finals with a win over the Western Bulldogs this Sunday. 

For Lucas-Rodd, and the rest of the team, the old football cliché of ‘one week at a time’ couldn’t be truer, with a focus and intent to finish the season strongly against the Dogs the number one priority. 

“We’re just going to be focused on getting over the Bulldogs first in that game before we look too far ahead,” said Lucas-Rodd 

“I think as a Club though, it’s our biggest AFLW game to date. To be able to win this game will secure our spot in the finals.

“We know the Bulldogs always come out against us and play well, so we’re going to be prepared and ready to face what they throw at us.’