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Melbourne Football Club

VFLW: Breanna Pratt: Embracing the challenge

IT HAS been a sensational start to the football career of Breanna Pratt.

Another member of the uber-talented Casey Demons VFLW list, the 21-year-old is flourishing in her first season in the red and blue.

“I started football two years ago, just playing at my local club in Warragul,” Pratt told Melbourne Media.

“Then at the end of last year, I tried out for the Demons.

“I wasn’t expecting to get in… But I got in… I really like it.”

Playing for Demons has seen the youngster thrust into the midfield where she now faces off against some of the best players in the VFLW and in Australia.

“It is a much bigger challenge compared to local footy,” Pratt said.

“There is definitely a change in standard, it is great to challenge myself.

“It is going from playing against people who might have never played footy before to now playing against AFLW players.

“Sometimes it doesn’t feel real… when you go out and play against them after seeing them on TV.”

Playing in four of Casey’s five games this year, Pratt has been a solid contributor for the Demons spending the majority of her time in the midfield, averaging 4.8 disposals and 2.5 tackles in the early season.

It has been a tremendous change for the former successful netballer to now shifting her entire focus on her football career.

“Last year, I was able to have the opportunity to have one night at netball and one night at football,” Pratt said.

“But this season, it is just football, and netball when I can.

“I’ve always wanted to play football, so as soon as I turned 18, I said ‘I am going to giving footy a crack’.”

The results of her focus on footballing are already winning over the Casey faithful with her determined play, but also the attention of selectors.

After starring for Geelong West last season, Breanna was invited to the first ever AFL Barwon Senior Female Representative squad in May 2019, joining 51 other female footballers to compete for a spot under the guidance of AFLW pioneer Melissa Hickey.

Another great experience for the young footballer.

“It was really good,” Pratt said.

“It was a great learning opportunity for me.”

Learning opportunities are coming from everywhere for Pratt, from learning going up against high-quality opportunities, but also from within the Demons and her teammates, embracing the team’s motto.

“I am always learning from my teammates,” Pratt said.

“They are role models for me to look up to… I still have got lots to learn yet.

“Our team motto is about always having my teammate’s back.

“If someone falls down you go pick them up… You don’t leave anyone behind.”

Every round provides a new experience for Pratt, whether it is playing against friends and former teammates in earlier rounds, this weekend provides a new challenge for Pratt, playing in front of a home crowd.

“I am really looking forward to the Geelong game,” Pratt said.

“Because everyone is going to come along… Everyone I know down there.

“Geelong West as my local… They’re all going to come down and watch the game.”

It will be another first in the promising career of Pratt as she continues to strive towards achieving her goals on the field.

“I definitely want to see how this year goes and maybe one day think about playing AFLW,” Pratt said.

“But my goal this season is trying to play as many games as I can.

“Play the best I can… Maybe even kick a goal… That would be nice.”

Well, one thing is for certain, Breanna Pratt will continue to be giving it her all for the Casey Demons.