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Melbourne Football Club

Cordner continues tradition

Introducing Harriet Cordner The Cordner name lives on as Harriet Cordner becomes the eighth member of her family to play for Melbourne

THE granddaughter of 1946 Melbourne Brownlow Medal winner Donald Cordner is the latest addition to club’s AFL Women’s side for 2017.

Former soccer player Harriet Cordner will join Melbourne as a Category B rookie after five seasons in the National Women’s Premier League, mostly recently with Melbourne United.

The surname Cordner will no doubt strike a chord with many Melbourne supporters.

Premiership player Don Cordner played 166 games for Melbourne from 1941-50 and was named in the back pocket in Melbourne’s Team of the Century in 2000 while brothers Denis, Ted and John also played for the red and blue.

A two-time club champion, Denis played in Melbourne’s 1948 and 1955-56 premiership teams and was named in Melbourne’s Team of the Century as the starting ruckman.

Cordner said she was excited to join Melbourne given her family’s special connection to the club.

“My grandpa’s dad [Edward Cordner] and his brother [Harry] played for Melbourne and my grandpa [Don] played from 1941-1950,” she told Melbourne TV.

“Three of the brothers – Donald, Dennis and Ted – all played one game together for Melbourne in [round five] 1943 [against Richmond at Punt Rd] and their youngest brother John played, as well as my dad’s cousin’s David [played for Melbourne].

“I will be the eighth Cordner to play AFL for Melbourne.”

Cordner said she had many fond memories of Melbourne growing up.

“I got to take my grandfather’s Brownlow Medal for show and tell, which was pretty cool – I pulled the medal out of my pocket and my teacher actually fell out of his chair which was pretty funny,” she said.

“We [also] have his 1948 premiership jumper. It hangs in the cupboard and it’s got paint stains all over it, so it was just something he wore on the weekend when he was painting the house!”

A multitalented athlete, Cordner played Auskick growing up before changing to athletics and then soccer.

“I did Auskick because my brothers were doing it and it was the thing to do,” she said.

“I then ran for the Victorian team in athletics [but] individual sport is much different to team sport so I ended up swapping over to soccer.

“When I finished school, I played in the Women’s Premier League and I’ve played in that for the last five years.”

After attending the AFL’s National Talent Search for athletes, who had never played AFL in the middle of the year, Cordner said she was excited to make the shift to football.

“I don’t know what position I’ll play in footy, [but] I have defended for five years in soccer so maybe I’ll slot into the backline,” she said.

“Now I just really want to get into training and see who Melbourne picks up in the draft to fill the rest of the team. I’m looking forward to starting and I’m itching to go.”

Cordner said there was never any doubt about, which guernsey she’d want to pull on.

“I remember speaking to my grandma and her comment was, ‘you’ll have to play for Melbourne’. I don’t think it ever crossed my mind that I would want to play for anyone else,” she said.

“My whole family goes for Melbourne and I grew up going to the games so it just makes it extra special to able to play for Melbourne as well.

“My oldest brother said ‘who would have thought when we were growing up that you would have been the one pulling on the red and blue?’ because it’s every kid’s dream to play in the AFL, but I don’t think girls ever thought it could be their dream.”