Ella Wood received the letter she had been waiting for yesterday when arriving home from school, an invitation to the AFLW Draft being held in Melbourne next Tuesday, October 22.
Wood has had a successful season in the VFLW competition with the Western Bulldogs but is now holding her breath ahead of what could be a life-changing moment in her football career.
“I walked into the house yesterday and Mum was there and she said, ‘go look on your bed.’ I went into my room and I opened up the envelope… and it was the tickets,” Wood said.
“I was pretty excited but nervous at the same time because it was getting really late and the invitation hadn’t arrived at all. So, I thought maybe I didn’t end up getting one and that they’re not interested at all.”
She participated in the AFL Women’s Draft Combine at the start of October, speaking with all Victorian clubs about possibilities.
“I was happy with my results, to be honest. I actually got fifth in the 2-kilometre time trial which I was very surprised about because I don’t do long distance,” she said.
“I just pushed myself through every test that I did and the outcome was good so I am happy with it.”
“I’m prepared to not get my name called out, I don’t want to get my hopes up at all. Going by the interviews with the clubs they all seem quite interested. They spoke with me about how my season went and how they think I played.”
“They seemed quite interested so I am going in quite confident but not getting my hopes up either.”
Wood has had quite a year, both navigating her growing football career whilst maintaining school work as she prepares to head into the Year 12 exam period.
“If I had to put it into one word it would be stressful, extremely stressful,” she said.
“I’ve had to worry about school and having to leave early for training to get to Melbourne. Overall it’s been really enjoyable but there is that stressful side as well.”
Next Tuesday will be a bittersweet moment for Wood as she misses out on her final day of school. She will be elsewhere when her Year 12 cohort attend their final assembly but she hopes it will all be worth it.
“I was really looking forward to Tuesday because we get to muck around and some fun. But, this is a pretty big thing.”
Ella isn’t the only Wood missing the last day, her twin sister Amy will also be travelling with her to support her with their parents.
“Being her twin, I want to be there with her when she hopefully gets drafted,” Amy Wood said.
“I’m very, very extremely proud. No one will ever be able to put how proud I am of how far she’s come into words.
“I have never seen someone put in so much work into one thing as well as complete Year 12 like she has. It’s been very stressful and there’s been lots of ups and downs but she’s done so, so well.
“It’s the rest of her life, this is her career so I find it more important than my last day of Year 12.”
AC News will have more details after the AFLW Draft next Tuesday.
-Producer & Anchor
-Founder of AC News in 2017