Confident Keck excited about future in blue

NEW AFLW Blue Lila Keck is someone who is neither short of confidence nor excitement about what her future in the AFLW holds.

“I’ve always been pretty boisterous and confident,” Keck said.

“Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes people tell me to shut up, but I think I bring that sort of culture to the program which hopefully lives on, but definitely helps me to be who I am and the character I am.”

Although before the draft she had interviews with just about every Victorian club, she did not have any kind of inkling Carlton would ultimately go on to draft her.

“No, not at all,” she said. “I knew they had some interest, but sort of felt like they had similar interest to the rest of the ones in the back of my head. So it was a bit of a surprise to come to the Blues, but chuffed about it.”

There are plenty of players that Keck is excited to learn off at Carlton.

“Definitely Kez (Kerryn Peterson) the captain,” Keck said. “She’s been one of my idols for a while now. Mim Hill, Keeley Skepper, all those girls. All of them really.”

It has not been an easy year for Keck, with a few ankle injuries to deal with through the year, but the setbacks still taught her a lot.

“I was pretty set back by the ankle injuries, but that’s what happens in football,” Keck said. “I felt like it was something that I needed to build resilience and know that I can get through it before I hit the elite pathway in AFLW. So I wouldn’t say I was grateful for the injury but the education and the coaching side of it that came from it definitely taught me a lot, so it was good.”

Going through the pathway at the Bendigo Pioneers certainly helped Keck a lot to become the player that she is now.

“From a small forward to a midfielder, the program has just been such a great pathway for me,” Keck said. “Especially the connections and the girls you meet, but it’s just grown and I feel like I’ve grown with it. I have had two coaches in my time that have been super good for me and still have great connections with, so growing with the program has allowed me to grow as a footballer.”

The Pioneers is a big region that faces its own set of unique challenges, but still had three players drafted last week – Keck, Bryde O’Rourke and Keely Fullerton. Keck believes the entire community is proud of the achievement.

“I think we’re pretty proud as a community,” she said. “I definitely am, having been along the journey with those two girls, so to all go after a difficult year just shows that hard work and sometimes you don’t always need the result as a team to get where you want to go. So yeah, just super proud of those girls and I think the community are as well, so good to get home and sink it all in.”

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