By Celeste Duthie
The AFLW isn’t slowing down, and neither are the possible new players from around Australia.
Montrose player Mia Austin has been named as one of the top 30 players to watch in the upcoming AFLW draft next week.
She unfortunately suffered a leg injury over halfway through the season but still managed to gain the recognition she deserves through truly praiseworthy strenuosity.
Danny Ryan, a talent manager for the Eastern Rangers speaks very highly of Austin.
“For me her real strengths are her athleticism,” he said.
“She really does launch at the ball and takes a really good high mark. She’s quite a good kick for goal after all that hard work of winning the footy, she’ll often get the reward by going back and kicking goals.”
Playing in the forward line and the ruck, Austin stands at 177cm, giving her a great advantage over her opponents.
Austin has had some really outstanding performances in her uncommonly short time with Eastern Ranges, having not followed the traditional path to being selected for the team.
The 18-year-old joined the NAB Girls League team late last year and in a brief period has made a good name for herself.
“She’s developed into a really good player but also a leader amongst the group,” Ryan said.
Of course, nothing is set in stone but there is a real sense of excitement and confidence coming from Ryan regarding Austin’s possible drafting.
Her coach Travis and the rest of the team at Eastern Ranges are optimistic about Austin’s possible career in the AFLW.
According to Ryan her vertical leaps are part of what makes her so appealing to the AFLW.
“Definitely her athleticism and her leaps, she’s got a great vertical leap.”
Being named one of the top players to watch is certainly a feat to be proud of.
“It’s a great reward for her hard work.”
Two other Eastern Ranges players, Mia Busch and Izzy Khoury are also in the running for the draft.
“We’re just proud of Mia and the rest of the girls, and we just want to wish them all the best next week. It’s certainly it’s going be a nerve wracking time for them and their family and friends but we just hope everything falls into place for next week and we can sit back and watch them on the big stage in the AFLW.”