Q&A: Grace Martin (WWT Eagles)

WOODVILLE-West Torrens prospect Grace Martin got a taste of state league action last season and cemented her place in the Eagles’ SANFL Women’s side. Now entering her top-age season, Martin spoke to Rookie Me Central at the SANFLW Preseason Testing Day about her journey, game and what she hopes to accomplish in 2024.

Q: Grace, tell us about your footy journey?

GM: “I started at SMOSH West Lakes. I think it was Under 12s. I started there and then as I got older I worked my way into the talent squad with Eagles and then I was lucky enough three years ago to get selected and invited to the seniors at Woodville-West Torrens.”

Q: How’s it been coming through the senior program at the Eagles?

GM: “I really enjoyed it because I like being up in a competitive space, but it has been hard. Trying to gel with a lot of the older girls at times, but we’re lucky that Eagles has such a good environment and gets around you. At times it’s definitely hard with the expectations and you put so much pressure on yourself but you have to remember how old you are and you’ve got so much time ahead of yourself.”

Q: What role do you anticipate playing this year?

GM: “Hopefully a bit more midfield. I was playing high forward and hopefully a bit of that again. But hoping to get a few more mid minutes this year.”

Q: What do you see as some of the strengths in your game?

GM: “I reckon my ground balls, contested ground balls are one of my strengths. I’ve been trying to work on my speed a little bit so that’s continued to improve.”

Q: What about some of the improvements you’ve been looking to make?

GM: “A lot of my footy IQ and decision making. During the off-season I tried to watch over all of our games just looking at every game I played whether it was at Dev and League, and even if I wasn’t in the clips, just looking at all the lines and stoppages and where to set up. Just trying to improve that side of my game as well.”

Q: What AFL/AFLW club do you support?

GM: “I support Port in the AFL, and in the AFLW, not too sure. I do follow Port as well, but before that it was obviously Crows before they came in. I just like watching AFLW to be honest.”

Q: What player do you look up to at the elite level?

Chelsea Randall I reckon. Ever since I started I remember I did a school clinic one day and I thought it was such an amazing moment I want to be her one day. She’s such a good role model and I like how she plays. She’s so courageous.”

Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career?

“Obviously my teammates. I’d say Annie Falkenberg has been really big, and Renee Forth. They’ve been good mentors for me. I do criticise myself a little bit and they always catch me out, ‘you’re doing good mate, just keep going’. They help me not focus so much on the negatives and move on really. But even off-field they’ve been really good, they’ve just been good people for me.”

Q: Finally, what goals do you set for yourself in 2024?

GM: “I’m hoping to play State for the state games and then I don’t want to set too big goals for myself, so I’m just trying to take each month as it comes.”

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