ALL OF Horsham will be behind Ella Friend on Tuesday night when the AFLW draft takes place via video stream.
The 17-year-old former Horsham Saint is touted as a big chance of being selected by an AFLW club after being one of the key members of her Greater Western Victoria Rebels NAB League side this year.
Friend also played two games for the Western Bulldogs VFLW side, kicking two majors on debut against the Bombers.
The AFLW Academy member is seen as a key-position prospect with an elite set of hands and a powerful left-foot kick. She is versatile and spent this season in a number of positions for the Rebels including the forward line and the wing.
Unfortunately Friend as well as other Victorian draft hopefuls had their last chance at impressing recruiters dashed, when the Victorian Draft Combine was cancelled due to the pandemic. She was however still able to submit a 2km time trial.
Despite the cancellation, Friend has done everything she could to put her name in front of selectors.
"I started footy when I was five, it's always been a dream since I was young," Friend told Australian Community Media.
"When I was younger I always had the belief that an AFLW league would come into play.
"I've been so lucky, I've been the perfect age all the way through, all the pathways just rolled in front of me.
"I never had to stop playing footy. Once I stopped playing against the boys a new girls league started, it's been perfect."
Because of the state-wide lockdown, Friend is back from boarding school in Ballarat and will watch the draft from home with her parents.
"Normally she would be at boarding school, so we would have gone down to Ballarat to watch it with her, but as she's home with lockdown that's where we'll be," Ella's mum Michelle said.
"We're very excited, after all these years of her playing footy. She's worked hard!"
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