IT’S PRETTY rare for any prospective draftee to get to their club of choice.
However, that was exactly the case for new Blue, Winnie Laing.
Taken with pick No.36 in the NAB AFL Women’s Draft, Laing - a powerful midfielder and natural leader - told JOY FM that she was hoping to call Ikon Park home.
“They [Carlton] were the team I wanted to go to, so whenever their name would pop up on the draft we would listen pretty closely,” Laing said.
“I was lucky enough to get their last spot so yeah, I was really excited.”
Wholesome content warning. ??— Carlton Women's (@carltonfc_w) October 8, 2020
The moment Winnie Laing found out she was a Blue. ?? pic.twitter.com/JwSY1ft6r9
When talking about her influences and idols, Laing had a few Carlton names that she was looking forward to working alongside.
An inside midfielder by trade, one of them was an obvious choice: especially since Laing’s former coach at the Sandringham Dragons compared her to Carlton’s co-captain.
“Katie Loynes, the captain: I love her leadership and the way she plays,” she said.
“That is kind of my game being in the contest. I’m pretty competitive, so that’s why I do like Katie Loynes.
“Darcy Vescio and Maddy Prespakis are pretty talented so I think I’ll be full of talented teammates there which is pretty exciting.”
As well as her teammates, Laing is excited about working under Daniel Harford and the coaching staff at Carlton, as well as proving herself to her new club.
“I’ve really only heard good things about [Harford]: obviously he’s really tough but has that funny side as well,” she said.
“I think the aim at the moment is to get a really good pre-season in, getting to Carlton and prove to the coaches and teammates why I’m there.”
Laing was drafted from the Sandringham Dragons, where she was captain, alongside six other teammates.
Of course, one of those joined her in Navy Blue, with fellow Dragon Daisy Walker selected by Carlton in the second round.
Laing attributed her time at the Dragons for the skills that resulted in her being drafted.
“I think all the girls at Sandy that were drafted this year were really talented and everyone had different attributes to bring, so to play alongside them really taught me different things,” she said.
“I think this year, it’s taught me to be resilient and it’s really helped, being a hard worker. Now, I’m getting ready for a big pre-season and to hopefully play a couple of games next year.”