Draft prospect goes from nowhere to NSW/ACT in a 'couple of games'

GEORGIA Garnett went from her first game of footy to representing New South Wales in the space of a handful of matches.

The Sydney local, now a member of the NAB AFLW Academy who recently tested at the NAB AFLW Draft Combine, was a little bemused when asked to look back at her footy journey. 

"This is my third year playing for NSW/ACT. The first year was probably one of my first couple of games, I didn't realise how big that is until looking back now," Garnett told womens.afl

"My PE teacher (at Castle Hill High, in the city's north-west) told me to trial for a school under-15s team. I'd never played before, I gave it a crack and got in. I didn't know the rules or how to play, so I joined a club, which was Kellyville Magpies and it kicked off from there. 

"I didn't play much in the first season because I was playing soccer, but I played one or two games just so I knew the rules for school championships."

Having previously played soccer, touch football and Oztag, defender Garnett found her niche in Australian rules football. 

The aspect all three have in common? A lot of running. 

"[My preferred position is] probably centre half-back or the wing, I love to run. Anywhere with a bit of grass, I like to play," Garnett said.

"I loved watching Sally Pearson run in hurdles, every time the Commonwealth or Olympic Games were on, our family would be watching. I love watching Usain Bolt. I wouldn't have an exact sporting hero, but anyone who does what they do and train hard, I love to watch."

The grounded Garnett is realistic about the challenges of AFLW. 

"It'd be nice to be on an AFLW list, but I know that doesn't happen to everyone. If it doesn't happen now, I'd really like to work towards it in a couple of years," she said.

"Obviously getting drafted is one thing, but playing a game is another, so if [being drafted] was to happen, there's still steps to go after that. It'd be very nice, but you still have to work hard. 

"I've had a bit to do with the Giants so far. Over summer I trained with them every Saturday, that was part of the Academy. Through this winter, I've been part of the VFLW program with them, training every Monday and Wednesday and I played a game down in Melbourne (against Richmond)." 

Georgia Garnett gets a kick away for NSW/ACT at the NAB AFLW U18 Championships

When asked about her pre-match routine and emotions, Garnett was very definite about one thing: Pitbull is on her playlist.

"It's good hype," she said with a laugh. 

"I'm not really a nervous person, I just go with the flow. I like to get everyone pumped up [though]. 

"If I'm pumped up, I know I'll have a good game. I don't think the nerves get to me much, which I'm happy about." 

Away from footy, Garnett is completing year 12 – studying English, PE, legal studies, hospitality and community and family studies – with an eye on potentially teaching PE herself. 

"[I don't want] an office job, I couldn't sit down all day. I get so bored so easily," she said.

"I love the beach, so any time I get, I go. I like to think I can surf, but anything to do with the water, really. In summer, I find it so therapeutic. 

"In winter, I'll chuck the footy on when the Swans and Giants are playing, but not too much, you don't want footy overload."

The 2019 NAB AFL Women’s Draft will be live streamed on womens.afl, the AFLW App and the AFLW Facebook account from 10:40am EDT on 22 October.