Attending the AFL Women’s Draft Combine was an amazing experience for draft hopeful, Trentham’s Jenna Bruton.
The women’s combine was held last week, with extensive fitness and health examinations.
Bruton said it was great to be able to show her skill-set in front of AFLW coaches and recruiters, but equally as nerve-racking.
“I was pretty nervous at the start, I didn’t know what to expect, but it was pretty enjoyable,” the Trentham footballer said.
“It was pretty cool. It was different, because I’d never had that before, at Etihad (Stadium), so it was elite facilities.”
Since Bruton first picked up a football, the landscape for young girls wanting to do likewise has changed immensely.
Bruton played football with the boys at Trentham as a seven-year-old, right up until the age of 13 until there was no where for her to play at the time.
She took a year off, before making her way into Golden Point’s youth girls team.
The 21-year-old has also represented Vic Country and has spent the last four years at the St Kilda Sharks.
“It’s come pretty far since I started.
“There were no girls playing footy when I played and now most girls are playing,” she said.
With the NAB AFLW Draft being held on October 18, the draft combine allowed AFLW clubs to get a final look at who they may draft, and for the players, a final chance to press their case.
Bruton was pleased with her combine, but it was tough to judge in the overall picture.
She had club interviews with Carlton and Melbourne and has previously been in contact with Collingwood.
Nonetheless, it will be a nervous wait for Bruton, and she concedes she may not even watch the draft, preferring to find out at the conclusion.
“I’ve just got to not think about it because then I’ll get nervous – whatever happens happens,” Bruton said last week.
During the combine, the girls from various leagues went through medical screenings and fitness testing. The yo-yo run (which has now replaced the beep test), sprints and agility testing took place which was followed by the 2km time trial.
Almost 50 players were nominated for the combine by AFLW clubs and state bodies.
Fellow Victorian invitees Tahni Nestor and Sophie Alexander also have Ballarat ties, having had an involvement in the Basketball Ballarat program.