Norwood midfielder/defender Molly Brooksby will join Port Adelaide’s AFLW list as part of the Expansion U18 Talent Pathway Pre-Signing Period.
The teams included in the most recent wave of NAB AFLW expansion – Port Adelaide, Sydney, Hawthorn and Essendon – have the option to pre-sign up to three players who have come through each respective club’s academy, prior to the NAB AFLW Draft in December.
Brooksby was named Norwood’s best first year player after a breakout season in the SANFLW in 2022.
In 2023, her game time was limited due to injury, with the 18-year-old managing six games, averaging 15 disposals and just under four tackles per game.
The AFLW Academy player donned the Australian jumper for the Academy against the Under 23 All-Stars this year, and then played for South Australia in an unbeaten run at the under 18 national championships.
Brooksby was one of four academy players invited to train with Port Adelaide’s AFLW side this year, and joins Lauren Young as the second pre-signing for Port Adelaide.
Brooksby – who finished Year 12 on Wednesday – said it was a “surreal” feeling to be an AFLW listed player.
“It’s insane to think about, you work so hard for success for Norwood and success for the team – this is just a great extra gift,” she said.
“I am really grateful for this opportunity, and am grateful for all my teammates at Norwood that have helped me.
“The Norwood girls mean a lot to me, some of my best friends play here, we push each other so hard and I am so happy that I have spent a few years of my footy journey at Norwood.”
Port Adelaide list manager Naomi Maidment came out to Norwood’s Senior Women’s Training on Wednesday to surprise Brooksby with her Power guernsey.
“I was doing the warm up and people were telling me to look over and I saw the Port girls and everyone got around me,” Brooksby said.
“It was a great surprise.
“I have been training with the Port girls once a week and I have learnt so much, I can’t wait to get back into that environment.”
Port Adelaide list manager Naomi Maidment said:
“Molly is a highly talented and naturally skilled footballer, who has high football IQ and possesses the ability to use both sides of her body,” Maidment said.
“She is a really reliable teammate and often makes good decisions with ball in hand.
“Despite facing challenges in 2023 with injury, Molly demonstrated great resilience to finish her under 18 national championships really strongly in South Australia’s title-winning side. She will add value to our group on and off the field.”
Name: Molly Brooksby
Club(s): Norwood/Golden Grove
DOB: 18 July 2005
By Jamie Anderson PAFC, and Josh Teakle NFC