POWERFUL midfielder Maddy Prespakis prioritised staying close to her family over any ambition to be the No.1 pick in Tuesday's AFL Women's Draft.
The new Blue's football resume was the equal of any player in the draft and she and Nina Morrison, who Geelong selected first overall, shared the two major individual awards in 2018.
They tied for the TAC Cup best and fairest award and were also co-players of the AFLW Under-18 Championships.
AUSKICK TO TOP THREE Maddy Prespakis' football journey
Prespakis claimed Vic Metro's MVP for the second successive season, won Calder Cannons' club champion with 113 of a possible 120 votes and was best afield in the AFLW under-18 exhibition game.
However, the 17-year-old forewent the chance to be this year's No.1 choice when she elected to be available to Melbourne metropolitan clubs only.
Footballers could nominate a state or region to be drafted from, with Victoria split into Geelong, metropolitan Melbourne or all of the state.
AFLW DRAFT WRAP Who did your club take?
The Cats had the first two picks – used on local product Morrison then Greater Western Victoria Rebel Sophie Van De Heuvel – before Carlton didn't hesitate snapping up Prespakis.
"Geelong did come in to talk, but for me, my family comes first, and to be closer to home I felt I had to be in a Melbourne-based team," Prespakis said.
"After nominating metropolitan for the draft, I didn't have any regrets and now I'm a Bluebagger, so I'm excited.
"I'm feeling very relieved at the moment (and you) can't wipe the smile off my face just yet. I can't wait to start now."
The Blues also drafted Abbie McKay (pick 16), daughter of club great Andrew, who became the AFLW's first father-daughter selection, and then followed with Jayde Van Dyk (21), Charlotte Wilson (27), Rhiannon Watt (40) and Jessica Edwards (42).
Prespakis, who started playing football alongside boys at Romsey, was looking forward to playing alongside Brianna Davey, Darcy Vescio, Tayla Harris and the Hosking twins, Sarah and Jess.
To be closer to home I felt I had to be in a Melbourne-based team.
As part of the teenager's new reality, Vescio interviewed her for Carlton's website after the mainstream media finished.
Vescio was a marquee signing ahead of the first AFLW season and is one of the competition's household names, so is well placed to offer Prespakis advice.
"I've heard she's an absolute jet and that she knows how to find the footy and is very clean, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how she mixes in with the team," Vescio told AFL.com.au.
"(The leap to the AFLW) can be pretty tricky to navigate, but you just have to focus on becoming the best player you can be and if you focus on footy first then you can't really go wrong.
"You'll get other opportunities along the way, but just remember why you're playing football."
Prespakis' mother Jody's side of the family hails from the indigenous Dja Dja Wurrung tribe in Bendigo, about 150km north-west of Melbourne.
Her heritage is something she wants to explore more and she is keen to work in the indigenous area outside of football.
As for her AFLW goals and potentially making an instant impact, like Collingwood's Chloe Molloy and Western Bulldog Monique Conti before her, Prespakis wasn't making any big predictions.
"I haven't really thought about that just yet," she said.
"I just want to play good footy, keep playing the footy I play, and play whatever role the team gives me.
"My goal now is to get through pre-season and play in round one."
Full NAB AFLW Draft
|GEEL||1. Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons, VIC)|
|GEEL||2. Sophie Van De Huevel (GWV Rebels, VIC)|
|CARL||3. Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons, VIC)|
|FRE||4. Jasmin Stewart (Claremont, WA)|
|COLL||5. Jordyn Allen (Dandenong Stingrays, VIC)|
|MELB||6. Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power, VIC)|
|GEEL||7. Rebecca Webster (Murray Bushrangers, VIC)|
|ADEL||8. Nikki Gore (South Adelaide, SA)|
|BL||9. Paige Parker (Coorparoo, QLD)|
|WB||10. Eleanor Brown (Sandringham Dragons, VIC)|
|COLL||11. Katie Lynch (Oakleigh Chargers, VIC)|
|GWS||12. Alyce Parker (Thurgoona Bulldogs, NSW)|
|COLL||13. Mikala Cann (Eastern Ranges, VIC)|
|GEEL||14. Olivia Purcell (Geelong Falcons, VIC)|
|MELB||15. Madeline Brancatisano (Northern Knights, VIC)|
|CARL||16. Abbie McKay (Sandringham Dragons, VIC)|
|FRE||17. Sabreena Duffy (Peel Thunderbirds, WA)|
|COLL||18. Lauren Butler (GWV Rebels, VIC)|
|COLL||19. Maddie Shevlin (Melbourne rookie list/Casey Demons VFLW, VIC)|
|GEEL||20. Denby Taylor (Geelong Falcons, VIC)|
|CARL||21. Jayde Van Dyk (Hawthorn VFLW, VIC)|
|BL||22. Natalie Grider (University of Queensland, QLD)|
|WB||23. Aisling McCarthy (Tipperary, Ireland)|
|GEEL||24. Georgia Clarke (GWV Rebels, VIC)|
|NMFC||25. Daisy Bateman (Oakleigh Chargers, VIC)|
|WB||26. Kate Bartlett (Peel Thunderbirds, WA)|
|CARL||27. Charlotte Wilson (Eastern Ranges, VIC)|
|FRE||28. Philipa Seth (East Fremantle, WA)|
|COLL||29. Sophie Alexander (Collingwood VFLW, VIC)|
|ADEL||30. Jessica Foley (Sturt, SA)|
|MELB||31. Jordann Hickey (Northern Territory Thunder, NT)|
|COLL||32. Georgia Gourlay (Casey Demons, VIC)|
|BL||33. McKenzie Dowrick (Subiaco, WA)|
|WB||34. Selena Karlson (Southern Saints, VIC)|
|GEEL||35. Rene Caris (GWV Rebels, VIC)|
|NMFC||36. Courteney Munn (Southern Saints, VIC)|
|ADEL||37. Chloe Scheer (North Adelaide, SA)|
|CARL||38. Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges, VIC)|
|FRE||39. Courtney Stubbs (Subiaco, WA)|
|CARL||40. Rhiannon Watt (Southern Saints, VIC)|
|ADEL||41. Katelyn Rosenzweig (North Adelaide, SA)|
|CARL||42. Jessica Edwards (Collingwood VFLW, VIC)|
|GWS||43. Brittany Perry (North Adelaide, SA)|
|MELB||44. Shelley Heath (Southern Saints, VIC)|
|BL||45. Lauren Bella (Bond University, QLD)|
|WB||46. Jessie Davies (Western Bulldogs VFLW, VIC)|
|GEEL||47. Maighan Fogas (Geelong VFLW, VIC)|
|ADEL||48. Danielle Ponter (St Mary’s, NT)|
|FRE||50. Parris Laurie (Claremont, WA)|
|COLL||51. Jordan Membrey (Wilston Grange, QLD)|
|ADEL||53. Hannah Martin (West Adelaide, SA)|
|GWS||54. Lisa Whiteley (South Adelaide, SA)|
|NMFC||55. Chloe Haines (Burnie, TAS)|
|BL||56. Tori Groves-Little (Coorparoo, QLD)|
|GEEL||57. Elise Coventry (Geelong VFLW, VIC)|
|NMFC||58. Libby Haines (Burnie, TAS)|
|FRE||59. Laura Pugh (West Perth, WA)|
|GWS||60. Ingrid Nielsen (UNSW Bulldogs, NSW)|
|BL||61. Jesse Wardlaw (Coorparoo, QLD)|
|GEEL||62. Madeline Keryk (Geelong VFLW, VIC)|
|NMFC||63. Nicole Bresnehan (Clarence, TAS)|
|FRE||64. Matilda Sergeant (Claremont, WA)|
|GWS||65. Renee Tomkins (Penrith-Auburn Giants, NSW)|
|FRE||66. Ebony Dowson (Peel Thunderbirds, WA)|
|GWS||67. Delma Gisu (Wilston Grange, QLD)|
|GWS||69. Haneen Zreika (Penrith-Auburn Giants, NSW)|
|COLL||70. Erica Fowler (Collingwood VFLW, VIC)|
|GWS||71. Ebony O'Dea (Norwood, SA)|