Sunbury teenager Madison Prespakis seems to have timed her run perfectly to fulfil a lifelong dream of playing AFL professionally.
The 17-year-old midfielder has been selected in the Victorian Metro under-18 girls team for the third year straight, and will play in the national carnival on the Gold Coast next month.
Maddy hopes to do well enough to be selected for her third All-Australian team.
An indigenous Australian, the Gisborne Secondary College student trained over the summer for a month with the Western Bulldogs women’s team.
Maddy said from the moment she started in football she wanted to play AFL.
“I can’t be drafted until next year and I am happy to play anywhere,” she said.
Maddy Prespakis shows off her kicking style. Picture: David Smith
That said, if Essendon had a team in the AFL Women’s, she’d want to pull on the red and black guernsey.
“I follow Essendon so it would be great if they could get a licence,” she said.
Maddy took up Auskick in Romsey as a four-year-old, playing in boys’ teams there until under-15s and becoming good friends with the Lever family, including Adelaide Crow star Jake.
“I only started playing girls and women’s footy two years ago so I was pretty set up going into that,” she said.
“Now the standard is improving so much, the underage girls teams could take it up to women’s teams.”
Maddy coaches a Victorian indigenous team in its own nationals, while she is also a mentor at Gisborne Secondary College’s junior girls.
Her footballing heroes include Nat Fyfe, Ellie Blackburn and Zach Merrett.
Maddy is this week’s junior nominee for the Leader Locals Sports Stars award.
Maddy Prespakis, 17, is already a two-time junior all-Australian representative. Picture: David Smith