Multi talented Matser has not given up on big time return

BOX Hill’s Grace Matser may only be 21 years-old, but has had plenty to put on her football resume.

Her home at Box Hill City Oval is a far cry from where it all began from her in the tiny of Korumburra in Victoria’s Gippsland region.

When she was first starting out Matser said it was “pretty scary at first, because when I was starting we were the first ever Korumburra Youth Girls team” but that she “grew a love for it and was lucky enough to be able to continue through to the Gippsland Power pathway and it just kind of took off from there.”

It did not always go to plan for Matser, who missed out on being drafted in her top-age year, but instead waited a year to get her opportunity.

She said it was “pretty tough“ to not get drafted as an 18 year-old.

“You go in as an 18 year-old and your hope is to get drafted and go from there, so it was pretty tough,” Matser said. “I can say I probably had my fair share of tears probably the week after, but you’ve just got to put it in perspective, not everyone’s journey is going to start at 18 and go the way through.

“So that put it into perspective in that way and keep the motivation going and know that I you keep trying hopefully I’ll get there, and I was lucky enough to get picked up in that 2022 draft.”

After that setback it was time for a stint at Collingwood before getting picked up by North Melbourne in the 2022 AFLW Draft.

“I loved it” Matser said, speaking about her time at Arden St.

“Obviously getting to play with rucks likes Emma King and Kim Rennie was really amazing. I learnt a lot and obviously they’re such a great team in AFLW at the moment. I loved it, just learning off everyone and the environment was great, so I really enjoyed my time there.”

After getting a taste of the AFLW, Matser has not given up hope of returning to the big time.

“I hope so! I’m never going to shut that door,” she said. Always hopeful that I might be able to make it back there, but I guess I’m still trying to just enjoy my footy and as along as I’m enjoying my footy then hopefully I might be able to make it back up there.”

After her time in the AFLW, she decided to head to Box Hill because “it was just more of a fresh start”.

“It just sounded really good when I talked to the coaching staff and I was just keen to get started down there,” Matser said.

So far, Matser said her second year at Box Hill is “going good, I’ve really enjoyed it”.

“We’ve got a really good group, and I’m keen to just get to the season and see how we go this year.”

Last year did end in a frustrating manner for the Hawks, not progressing very far in the finals series, and Matser does believe that frustration is a driving force for them in 2024.

“We’ve got a really new group as well, so yeah a lot of new, fresh faces and we’re just keen to get into the year and see how we go so,” Matser said.

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