Claremont’s Ella Slocombe has emerged as a first-round contender at next week’s AFLW Draft after taking her game to a new level in the past twelve months.
After spending time overseas and having a delayed start to the year, Slocombe quickly made her mark with the Tigers in the WAFLW and broke into the side in Round 1.
But 2023 has provided many challenges for the recently turned 18-year-old.
“This year has been full of ups and downs,” she said.
“I haven’t had the most consistent year with a concussion at the start of the year and then a knee injury.
“However it’s been great getting some quality games in with both Claremont and the WA U18 side and I’ve grown a lot and had some great experiences.”
The upcoming AFLW Draft is producing normal levels of anxiety for Slocombe.
“There’s defiantly lots of mixed emotions.
“I am super excited, but it’s also very nerve racking.
“Everything is so unknown at the moment so that makes it scarier, but I’m so excited to see what happens on the night.”
Just like Kaitlyn Srhoj, Ella has nominated nationally for the Draft giving her the best possible chance of landing at an AFLW club.
“It wasn’t a quick decision to nominate nationally.
“It’s something I thought about for a long time and all the possibilities that come with it.
“I had some great people give me guidance on what to do, and at the end of the day, I think nominating nationally gives me the best chance of getting picked up which is the ultimate goal, so I knew it’s what I wanted to do.
“Although it’s a massive change if I was to move, I would just have to embrace it and know there would be so much to gain from moving out of WA and so much to learn,” she said.
Trent Cooper, Talent Specialist – Female Talent Pathways, has described the improvement made by Slocombe.
“A borderline selection for the state squad at this time last year, Ella worked extremely hard in the pre-season and has propelled herself into being a likely first round selection,” said Cooper.
“Speed, evasiveness and endurance are the attributes that make her stand out as an AFLW prospect and she should develop into a hard-running midfielder and a dangerous pressure forward at the next level.”