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From Parrots to Pies – Kaila enters AFLW


NEW TO THE FLOCK: Leongatha’s Kaila Bentvelzen realised a life-long dream last week when she was drafted to the AFLW’s Collingwood Magpies.

Daniel Renfrey

 

JUST a week ago, Leongatha’s Kaila Bentvelzen added another achievement to her footballing career when she was drafted to the AFLW by Collingwood with the 67th overall pick.

The 22-year-old had just completed her second year at the VFL’s Casey Demons, and had also previously coached the Leongatha women’s team.

While she was interviewed by the Magpies after a strong season, Kaila was caught by surprise on draft day.

“I really didn’t expect it, I was at work,” she said.

“I was serving a customer and looked up at the screen and thought oh my god that’s my name. It was so surreal.”

“It’s setting in now but sometimes I wake up and still can’t believe it.”

It has been a dream of Kaila’s to play AFL footy ever since she picked up the oval ball at the age of five.

She did not think it was possible until the AFLW was introduced though and began training as soon as a league for women was established.

“I love challenging myself, my time in the VFL was awesome but my dream ever since I was a kid has been to play AFL footy,” Kaila said.

“When they brought AFLW in I got straight back into it, I coached the Leongatha girls and got back into playing, I’ve always loved it. I’m absolutely stoked.”

The forward-turned-defender had a strong season, in which she developed her game significantly.

Her sporting experience, impressive work ethic, and the supporting cast around her have all been factors in her rise to the top level.

“I played basketball and netball growing up so that’s helped with reading the play well. I also try to go to the gym every night as well as work on my skills,” she said.

“My family has been so supportive my whole life, and my coaches and support staff at Casey have helped and driven me to be the best I can be.”

Kaila will now prepare herself for what is to be an intense preseason, kicking off in late November.

While it may be daunting, she is looking forward to adjusting to the big smoke.

“It’s going to be a lot of ball and strength and conditioning work, so right now it’s just about getting my fitness up in preparation for it,” Kaila said.

“There’ll be a gruelling three-day training camp as well but that will give me a chance to bond with teammates too.”

While the AFLW provides her biggest challenge yet, Kaila is determined to keep making her dream a reality.

“The first step is to get a game, but to keep improving and to stay on an AFL list for as long as possible would be the ultimate.”

With her work ethic and talent clear for all to see, Kaila is undoubtedly bound for bigger and better things.

 

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=30260

Posted by on Oct 29 2019. Filed under Featured, News, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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