Carlton defender Ally Bild has been announced as captain of the Blues’ VFLW side for the 2021 season. 

Voted in by her teammates, Bild will lead alongside veteran Jen Lew, who will take up the role of vice-captain, while Elsa Mangan and two new recruits for 2021 in Akayla Peterson and Esther Honybun round out the five-player leadership group.

Originally from the St Kilda Sharks and having played for the Sandringham Dragons in the NAB League and for Collingwood in VFLW, the 22-year-old has set the tone throughout pre-season with her work ethic, commitment and leadership across the playing group.

Playing off the half-back line as a rebounding defender, her speed and decision-making out of defence will be eye-catching qualities to impress the Carlton faithful this year.

Lew has played at a very high level in New South Wales for over a decade, bringing valuable experience to the leadership group. 

Having only recently started her football journey, Mangan was part of the VFLW squad in 2020 and has put her best foot forward this preseason to be elevated to the leadership group. 

Peterson arrived at the Blues in 2021 from the Cairns Saints Football Club, where she captained the side to a Premiership last year and was named best on ground.

Esther Honybun, the youngest member of the leadership group at 21 years of age, has joined the Blue this season from the Darebin Falcons. She has a father-daughter connection to the Club with father David also playing five games for Carlton in 1984 and has an elite soccer background.

VFLW Coach Luke O’Shannessy said the team was in great hands with Bild and her fellow leaders at the forefront of what the side was looking to build.

 “Ally is a highly driven, team-first player and regardless of her age is able to lead a group of players, she has all the qualities that we look for in a leader,” Luke O’Shannessy said.

“The way she goes about her football, the way she role models professional standards and behaviours and the way that she is hungry to find ways to enable those around her to do the same are the real standout qualities that will make her a great captain for this Club.

“Jen will really be able to support Ally as vice-captain, she’ll be able to help support her along that journey which we’re really pleased with.

“Adding in Elsa, Akayla and Esther to the group gives us a fantastic leadership group that compliments each other in regard to experience in the game and what they bring to the table in terms of helping our playing group get the very best out of themselves.”

The new VFLW season will begin Saturday February 27.