New Blue happy to be close to home

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.

Announcement of the AFLW number one pick

01:20 Oct 23. 2018. 12:48 PM

Nina Morrison has been selected by Geelong as the number one pick

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

"(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)
CARL 49. Pass
FRE 50. Parris Laurie (Claremont, WA)
COLL 51. Jordan Membrey (Wilston Grange, QLD)
MELB 52. Pass 
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)
FRE 68. Pass
GWS 69. Haneen Zreika (Penrith-Auburn Giants, NSW)
COLL 70. Erica Fowler (Collingwood VFLW, VIC)
GWS 71. Ebony O'Dea (Norwood, SA)