Sport

Draft day a formality for Millie Brown

By Tyler Maher

Unlike most of the AFLW hopefuls waking up this morning, Millie Brown already knows how today's draft will play out.

At an as-yet-undetermined pick in the draft, Geelong's chosen delegate will stand up and call out her name as the first father-daughter selection in the club's history.

The Mooroopna product will then begin her journey as a Cat, following in the footsteps of father Paul, who played 84 games in the blue and white hoops during the 1990s.

It has allowed Brown to head into today's proceedings at the Melbourne Showgrounds with a clear focus - and without most of the usual nerves.

“It is a bit different, but I'm very excited,” Brown said.

“Dad's really proud, he's never pushed it or forced me to go to Geelong or anything, but he's really happy and so is Mum and the rest of the family.”

It has been a busy year for Brown - juggling Year 12, Victoria Country, Murray Bushranger and even Geelong VFLW commitments at times - but she knows she has the right people in her corner to help her through it.

“Hectic is definitely the right word,” Brown said.

“I've struggled through some parts of it, but I've had really good people around me and the Bushies and everyone have been really accommodating to my schedule.

“If I can't do anything at school, sometimes they're okay with it and if I can't do something with the Bushies or footy, they're cool with it too.

“We have exams coming very quickly, but I'm feeling pretty prepped. I think pre-season starts under a week after my last exam, so it's straight into things.”

There will be plenty of familiar faces at Geelong for Brown to reunite with, but she also took a moment to thank those who have helped her achieve her dreams.

“I've got a couple of really good mates there, Liv Purcell, Becky (Webster), Nina Morrison and a couple of the others that I've gone through the Vic Country ranks with, so can't wait to be playing with them again, it's very exciting,” she said.

“Dad's been a big influence, but I think one of my major influences was my coach that I've had for three years at the Bushies, Sam Ahmet.

“He wasn't the coach (this) year, Tim (Madden) was, and Tim was really great too, but Sam was a real people's person and taught me a lot about how to carry myself off the field as well as on the field, so I think Sam's been a really good influence.”

You can likely expect to see Brown patrolling the defensive half for the Cats next season after moving down back this year in the NAB League, with her leadership skills sure to be on show as well.

“I was co-captain last year with Becky and then captain this year, but I try not to worry about that too much,” Brown said.

“I kind of have the natural leadership on the field it's not like "oh I'm captain I better step up" sort of thing, I kind of do that and the captaincy role comes with it.

“Position-wise I've gone down back this year, which has been a really good change for me I think, just keeping my head in the game a bit more (rather) than fading in and out a bit like last season.”

AFLW DRAFT

Details

Today at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Round one begins at 11am and all of the action will be live-streamed from 10.40am on womens.afl, the AFL Women's app and the AFL Women's Facebook page.

Other names to watch for

Grace Egan: Like Brown, Egan knows she will become a Carlton player today. The Shepparton product was selected by the Blues with pick 13 as part of the AFLW Academy bidding process.

Reni Hicks: Nathalia's Hicks has done everything she possibly could to find her way back on to an AFLW list after not having her Carlton contract renewed. She reinvented herself as a bullocking midfielder in the VFLW ranks with Darebin, finishing second in the club's best-and-fairest count after averaging more than 13 disposals and almost 11 tackles per game.

Teagan Brett