Sexton seeks consistency in top-age year

PEEL Thunder top-ager Dakota Sexton is taking a particular focus on both her consistency and fitness entering her draft eligible year, with the 17-year-old hoping to take her footy as far as she can. The Melbourne supporter looks up to Christian Petracca, following in the footsteps of her Dees-supporting father and she had plenty of support around her.

“Probably my parents, my coaches and my family,” Sexton said of the people who had the most influence on her individual career. “Just all my support people.”

Few developing talents are always able to play at the same level week-in, week-out and that is exactly what the midfielder-defender is hoping to improve herself in 2024.

“Be consistent, fitness, and obviously just improve my game even more,” Sexton said regarding her goals. “Keep building as a person and a player.”

The Peel Thunder teenager is not too dissimilar to many budding female footballers, having to step away from the game due to limited opportunities, but finding her way back and falling in love with the code all over again.

“I did Auskick when I was younger, because we had a little Auskick team down in Binningup with all my mates,” Sexton said. “There wasn’t female footy teams yet in local leagues so all the boys went and played off their local leagues and I just played a few different sports even through dance and hockey and gymnastics in there.

“But then footy stuck and in Year 6 I went and joined the boys. Then Year 7 to 9 they had a girls team so went and did that. Then from there went to Peel, went played Rogers for a couple of years. Had my League debut but then decided to stick with Rogers for the year, then last year played a full season of League and hopefully again this year. “

Playing predominantly midfield for the Thunder and off half-back for the Sandgropers last season, Sexton said she knew it would “definitely be a process” to crack into the latter’s on-ball brigade, but she wanted to give it a shot.

“I’ve got a lot to work on because there’s a lot of good girls there, but I’ve got a whole season to work on it, and will obviously keep trying. If I don’t, I’ll keep giving backline a crack,” Sexton said.

“With Peel I play midfield so I hope to play midfield, but I’m also really open to keep learning in backline because it is a really good experience. Midfield is always the goal, but wherever I am, I’m happy.”

The jump from Rogers Cup to WAFL Women’s was evident for Sexton who said while the support around the team was the same, the professionalism of the open age competition went up a notch.

As for her own game, Sexton said her physical strength, versatility and coachability were traits that stood out, while her overall fitness and endurance was her key area of improvement for this season.

“Getting into midfield that’s what you need, so keep working on that, and consistency,” she said. “I want to make sure that I’m consistent every game, not have a few off games.”

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