Hausegger hones craft to follow Blackburn’s lead

OAKLEIGH Chargers top-ager Lara Hausegger is a Western Bulldogs fan, so it should come as no surprise as to the player she most looks up to at AFL Women’s level. Though Hausegger is primarily a rebounding defender, the 17-year-old wants to emulate her AFL Women’s club premiership skipper.

“I really inspire to play like Ellie Blackburn,” Hausegger said. “I think she’s really explosive, second, third efforts. She’s just strong.”

Over the years, Hausegger has had plenty of mentors who have had a great influence on her career, citing coaches across local clubs, the Chargers and Vic Metro as just a few of the teams she has been able to represent.

Determined to take it “one step at a time” when it comes to looking ahead to the draft, Hausegger is just focusing on playing good footy and balancing her Year 12 studies with her sporting love.

“It’s hard (balancing footy and school), but I get it done, I’ve got to do it, I enjoy it,” Hausegger said, as she hopes to potentially move into a physical education or health course in the future, though was not exactly sure of her exact post-school pursuits.

Having had a little niggle over the pre-season, Hausegger – who is a member of Vic Metro’s State Hub – said she finished the preparation for the 2023 season strongly and was raring to go for the Coates Talent League.

“I’m so pumped, I’ve really been enjoying preseason recently,” Hausegger said in the lead-up to the season. “Good atmosphere, good work load. I had a tiny little strain in my quad but other than that just a little bit out then straight back into it.”

The half-back entered the year as Oakleigh’s top draft prospect, standing at 170cm with clean hands and terrific evasion. Even over the off-season, Hausegger was focused on improving various aspects of her game.

“(I’m) just trying to focus more on composure with the ball and what I’m doing with the ball,” Hausegger said. “I feel like as a first year player you’re always a bit rushed, a bit frantic, but really focusing on composure and executing skills during game sense.

“I think I’ve got clean hands and definitely been working on my composure so I think that’s really increased. Then working on overhead marking, just trying to work on that at training and with pressure.”

Hausegger has made a promising start to the year, averaging 20.8 disposals, 2.5 marks and 3.8 rebound 50s from four games thus far, including a 27-disposal effort against Geelong Falcons in Round 3. Her Chargers are undefeated in the 2023 Coates Talent League season, and return on Saturday, May 27, taking on Northern Knights at Preston City Oval.

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