Georgostathis shining with opportunities

AFTER what has been a challenging AFLW season like no other, Rookie Me Central took the opportunity to get to know the up and coming future star in the making that is Elisabeth Georgostathis.

Georgostathis has risen through the footy pathway, firstly doing little athletics on a Saturday morning, playing netball, before East Keilor Football Club reached out and asked to do a session before another call from a coach at St Albans Football club reached out and has enjoyed the game from there.

Georgostathis has achieved many accomplishments. These include being Western Jets captain, club best and fairest, NAB League Team of the Year, and selected pick nine in the 2019 AFLW Draft. She has also played in the VFLW competition and has not missed a game since the AFLW 2020 competition. Georgostathis looks back on making her way through to playing in the AFLW and challenges faced.

“Yeah looking back at it, it was a crazy journey,” Georgostathis said. “From first starting footy I never thought I would be where I am now, but yeah I’m proud of myself and the hard-work I have put in has paid off over the years. “I look forward to what the future has ahead, in the AFLW hopefully becoming full-time.

“There’s been not too many setbacks that I have faced. “The biggest one was probably not making the Victoria team for two years in a row. “The first year I didn’t make the squad at all and then in the second year I was cut just before the actual team was announced. It was very disappointing and heartbreaking as I thought I had worked hard and done everything I needed to, but it pushed me to work even harder, get my skills right and just be where I needed to be.”

Elisabeth Georgostathis kicks during her final NAB League Girls year in 2019, a season where she captained the Western Jets. Picture credit: Rookie Me Central

Whilst playing with the Western Jets in the NAB League competition and getting drafted, it was no doubt a moment Georgostathis will never forget. She also had her 18th birthday, got her driver’s licence and finished her last day of Year 12. Then she debut in her first AFLW Women’s game in 2020.

“I remember attending the draft not knowing what to expect, and I can definitely say I wasn’t expecting to go as early as I did,” Georgostathis said. “I was a bit shocked when my name came out and I was just so overflowed with emotions.

“It was another crazy experience. “I was so nervous but so excited to play. It was even better to play with a few other draftees in where we all had each to support but also the whole entire team and coach were so supportive.

“My favourite moment in footy would be my debut game, as it was just so exciting and a memorable moment and we topped it off with a win.

“It’s been really amazing. Each year it continues to improve, the pace of the game the skills and it’s just exciting to think what the league is going to be like in a couple of years.”

“It’s crazy to see the development already in the comp over the last 6 years and it’s even more exciting to see where it’s going to. I’ve already seen the difference over my past 3 seasons in all aspects of the game, and each year it is continuously changing and improving.”

Georgostathis also shared who the toughest player she has had the challenge of facing in the AFLW competition.

“I would have to say Brianna Davey, she is just an all-rounder; strong, skilful, smart and can go all day,” she said. I remember playing on her and she just kept getting away and was simply too good.”

Whilst the 2022 AFLW season has been a challenging season for the Western Bulldogs, with COVID, serious injuries to key players, Georgostathis said the vibes around the group were positive and shares what impact she wanted to have.

“The vibes are crazy good, we struggled a bit at the first couple of game of the season, I think Covid definitely got the better of us and we took a while to recover,” she said. “But as soon as we were all right we knew we had to fight back hard and put all our hard pre-season into work. “I think the excitement from that Adelaide game is what we will carry with us for the rest of the season because that was one hell of a game and I’m so proud of the girls for what we achieved.

“I think just playing my team role whatever that may be for the certain game and just trying to do everything right.”

Away from the footy field, with Georgostathis studying full-time at Victoria University doing a teaching course and wanting to become a teacher, she also balances two other jobs and teaches spot.

Whilst on game day, keeping her pre-game simple, having a footy in her hand and kicking the footy, Georgostathis shared what drove her to get up in the morning and train every day, and strategies she uses to stay calm during a tough game.

“It would definelty be my teammates, I think just the energy and support they bring just makes me feel excited to go and see them at training,” Georgostathis said.

“I think just giving myself a few things to focus on. So, whether that’s laying a certain amount of tackles in the quarter as that gets me near the ball. I think having one or two things to focus on and always come back to is good as footy is such a challenging game and so much is going on but knowing you have these focus points can help with that.”

Whilst the sport of footy means a lot to Georgostathis, with the people she’s met and friendships bonded along the way, also believing footy is one of the most supportive sports, she also shares her wisdom for those wanting to improve their game.

“I think just never give up,” she said. “No matter what you have to go through, the setbacks the challenges just keep working keep pushing yourself to get better and your reward will come. “And also, never compare yourself to others, as everyone is on a different journey, everyone is different we have different strengths and weaknesses and the only person you’re competing against is yourself, in order to become better.”

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