Two Calder Cannons players are expected to be among the top 10 selections at the AFLW draft this week.
Midfielder Monique Conti and forward Chloe Molloy have both been touted as possible number one draft picks on Wednesday afternoon.
Cannons girls football manager Pauline Leslie said the club had no doubt that both girls would be selected.
Selection would top a massive year for Conti who is also a Women’s National Basketball League player.
Conti, who played both basketball and football growing up, recently signed a four year contract with the Melbourne Boomers. She was named in the All-Star Five team at the under-17 world basketball championships last year.
It’s a journey that Leslie wishes she was able to do growing up.
“She’s managed both sports and we supported her in the that,” Leslie said. “She’s living the dream, playing basketball and now football at this level.”
Molloy gave up a promising basketball career to return to football, a game she gave up when she was younger.
Molloy had been a development player with the Melbourne Boomers and planned to attending college in America.
Leslie said Molloy has come a long way this season.
“She said to me at the start of the year, ‘I’ll have to learn to kick again’,” she said.
“She knew she had a long way to go to play football. She’s since won the TAC Cup goalkicking [award] with another girl, won the VFL goalkicking with Katie Brennan, won the TAC Cup best and fairest and was named in the TAC Cup team of the year.”
Molloy’s courage was also applauded when she returned to the field in the VFL women’s grand final after suffering a shoulder injury.
Conti and Molloy were the only two Cannons players invited to the first AFL women’s national combine.
Leslie said there was a possibility other Cannons players might be selected later in the draft or as rookies.
With at least two players to be drafted this year, it’s been a good start for the Cannons’ TAC Cup program.
AFL Victoria previously ran a program under the Cannons banner, but this year was the first time the Cannons have run the program.
“For me it is exciting,” Leslie said. “There’s a pathway for girls now and hopefully I can help these girls achieve their dreams.”
The Cannons have already held one talent search day looking for players for next season.