By Oliver Lees
Kyneton Tigers star Elizabeth Snell has staked her claim for selection at this year’s AFLW draft, after the midfielder was named best and fairest for the Bendigo Pioneers in the NAB League.
Snell said she was shocked she received the award despite only playing five of eight matches.
“I went into the season with confidence given that I’m a top age player now, so I had a bit more experience and an open mind,” she said.
“I was able to have more of a leadership role for the younger players which I’ve really enjoyed.
“I love being able to help the younger players. I started at [the Pioneers] at 15-years-old, so I always look forward to helping them out where I can.”
Despite the Pioneers finishing the season with just one win, Snell had a break-out season as one of the team’s most consistent midfield players.
She averaged 20 disposals, eight tackles and almost one goal a game across her five games for the club.
On July 18, Snell participated in her first AFLW Draft Combine, where the best young female footballers in the country have an opportunity to show their skills before the draft.
Speaking before the combine, Snell said she was looking forward to the opportunity.
“I’m excited but also obviously a bit nervous. I know most of the girls that have been invited which is great,” she said.
“Training-wise we’ve had to work on our fitness a bit to prepare, because they’re going to want us to be at a really professional level.
“I’m just going to give it my best.”
On top of playing in the NAB League, Snell has been juggling commitments in the VFLW for Essendon and as a Vic Country representative player.
Since debuting for the Bombers against the Hawks in round three in the VFLW, she’s averaged 12.8 disposals and eight tackles.
Snell said she made the call to prioritise VFLW in order to get experience playing against more mature players.
“I got the invite [from Essendon] at the start of the Pioneers season and I thought it would be an amazing opportunity because If I do proceed [to the AFLW] I’ll have an idea of what it takes,” she said.
“I’ve learnt a lot from the game and from other players at this level. That’s in terms of structure as well as in-game, also mentally I’ve gotten a better idea of how to prepare myself.”
Snell first played for the Kyneton Tigers as a 15-year-old.
After spending some time playing for Golden Square, Snell returned for the Tigers on July 11 this year and was named in the best players on the field.
“Kyneton’s an amazing club. It’s a great group of players and everyone really is just amazing, it’s been special to return home and play this year,” she said.
The AFLW Draft will take place at 6.45pm on Tuesday, July 27.