IMOGEN Milford didn’t have the traditional road to the draft that many of her fellow 2021 draft class travelled this year.
Playing a full season of VFLW with the Casey Demons in 2021, the 21-year old was able to hone her forward craft before nominating for the draft, being picked up by the Blues at pick No.26.
It was a significant milestone for Milford, who didn't play any football in 2020 due to Covid cancelling the state-league seasons.
While Milford isn’t the nervous type, the day of the draft was a challenge, as she attempted to keep her cool while at work.
“I was working that day but it was in the back of my mind all day,” Milford said.
“It was definitely stressful but when my name got called out, it was a sense of relief: it was so cool.”
Milford admitted that getting drafted was always a goal on her agenda, but she knew she needed to tick every box to get there.
After finishing second in the goalkicking table in the competition this season, she was ready to do it all again next season if things didn't go her way on draft night.
“I hoped [getting drafted] would come true but I wanted to focus on one thing at a time, put my effort into that, and that paid off from my season at the Casey Demons,” she said.
“If it didn’t happen, I would just keep killing it at VFLW level.”
Milford’s development at Casey saw her blossom into a competitive forward, kicking 19 goals for the 2021 season.
“When I started at Casey, from the get go I wanted to work on my consistency and belief and there was heaps of encouragement from the coaches,” she said.
“In the role I played as a forward, I had a good season doing that but I think the little things helped me succeed there, and the coaches support you and get you to practice those little things until you nail them.”
Being a natural goalkicker, Milford is excited at the prospect of working alongside Darcy Vescio, who has already messaged her words of encouragement.
“She said ‘can’t wait to kick some goals together’ so it was surreal to see that and know it’s going to happen someday,” she said.
“She’s an experienced player so whatever knowledge she has, I’m keen to take it on board and that will help me develop as a forward or whatever I may be.”