FINISHING best-on-ground against North Melbourne in her first VFLW game since injuring her shoulder, Eliza Wood is just happy to be back running out with her teammates again.
Though the injury to her shoulder sustained in Round 1 didn’t require surgery to repair, it’s been a long and hard rehab journey.
“The shoulder’s feeling good, I’m able to take the bumps,” said Wood.
“The girls have all noticed that I’m back out there and competing and having their support is just amazing.”
With two strong performances at half-forward and scoring Carlton's sole goal Round 8, Wood has been impressive in her return.
“I felt like last week, being back out there for the first time at Arden Street, I played my game and I did what the team needed me to do in my role as a high forward,” she said.
“This week was a bit different, it was a bit harder. Essendon brought the heat, they were very competitive, very strong at the ball, so it was a bit harder for me to play my role but I’m still happy with my efforts across the game."
After spending an extended period on the sidelines recovering and rehabbing, Wood played in two games at local level before being elevated back into the Blues’ side.
“It’s been great to watch on from the sidelines because I’ve seen them all improving as we go through the rounds,” she said.
“Each week you can just tell that they’re growing, they’re getting better, we’re gelling better as a team.”
Nice to see ya. ??— Carlton Women's (@carltonfc_w) May 4, 2021
Check out the best snaps from last night's VFLW training. ??
Looking to the remaining five rounds of the regular VFLW season, Wood is keen to reinforce her spot in the team as selection heats up following the conclusion of the AFLW season.
“I just want to keep bringing my A-game to training so I get the opportunity to be selected because I know what it feels like to sit out for a long time,” she said.
“My mentality is just to play every game as if it’s my last game because I don’t know what’s going to happen, all the girls are playing amazing and selection is going to get harder.”
Whilst the VFLW Blues have been bolstered by the addition of several AFLW-listed Game Changers, Wood doesn’t feel unsettled by the arrivals.
“Having their support around us is amazing, so it’s lovely having them out there and playing alongside them,” she said.
“They’re such great people to learn off.”
Still chasing her first win in the Navy Blue, Wood hopes she’ll get to share the win with her teammates at Whitten Oval this Saturday, as Carlton takes on the Western Bulldogs.