If Madison Prespakis’ junior football career is anything to go by, Carlton will be in for treat in the coming years.
Prespakis has long dominated football fields, firstly with Romsey and then the Sunbury Lions, before stepping up into the Calder Cannons and representing her state.
This year alone she shared the TAC Cup best and fairest and most valuable player at the national championships, with eventual number one draft pick Nina Morrison.
Even when she stepped up to VFL level this year, she averaged 25 disposals a game.
With a resume as long as hers, it was no surprise to see Prespakis taken at the first possible chance in the AFLW draft on Tuesday.
The Sunbury resident only nominated to be selected by Victorian metro teams and Carlton swooped at pick three, after Geelong had the first two picks.
Prespakis said it was a dream come true to be an AFLW player. She said since she started to play football with Romsey she had wanted to play at the highest level.
“It is such relief and it’s all so exciting,” she said.
“I thought my career would be cut short with the boys and didn’t think i would get this opportunity.
“One day girls [like me] couldn’t be AFL players and now I am an AFLW player.
“I just want to start training now.”
Prespakis said heading into the draft she thought she was most likely to be selected by Carlton or Collingwood, the first two Melbourne based teams with picks.
She said while she considering allowing herself being selected by Geelong at pick one or two, she wanted to stay closer to home.
While she has grown up being and Essendon supporter and said she would likely always be one at heart, she was happy to go Carlton.
She said her pop, who is a Blues supporter, is thrilled.
“In the end, I didn’t care where I went, as long as I went,” she said.
“It was nice to be drafted at pick three. There was a lot of tears when I was picked.
“My family cried and a few friends were there too and are so proud of me. I had a few tears too.”
Prespakis didn’t have to wait long to meet her team mates, with the Blues putting on a function for the new draftees on draft night.
Those who weren’t in attendance have sent text messages.
The draft starts a couple of big weeks for Prespakis, who turns 18 next week.
She then starts preseason training on November 14. And she can’t wait.
“I haven’t set too many goals,” she said.
“I want to get through preseason clean [of injuries] and get into the round one team.
“I just want to play good footy and keep playing my footy.”
Carlton AFLW coach Daniel Harford said Prespakis will strengthen the Blues’ line-up in 2019.
“We couldn’t be happier to secure Maddy. Not only is she a proven ball-winner, but she has a super footy IQ and makes good decisions with ball in hand,” Harford said.
“Playing for Melbourne Uni in the VFLW competition, she averaged more than 25 disposals and also managed to hit the scoreboard, so we can’t wait to see her in the navy blue next year.”