Cook sets Country goal for 2024

SECURING her place in the final Vic Country squad for the 2024 AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships is the “biggest goal” for aspiring AFLW Draft hopeful, Elise Cook. The talented Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels midfielder kicked off her season last night during her side’s loss to Geelong Falcons at GMHBA Stadium and was impressive in defeat.

Cook played through the middle and also spent time off half-back where she was able to provide drive down the field for her teammates. It was fitting her first match came at the Cattery, with the Rebels top-ager a mad Geelong fan, with Georgie Prespakis her favourite player.

Playing a similar role to Prespakis, Cook draws similarities in their gamestyles, and looks up to the AFLW Cat. Her journey is not dissimilar coming through the local pathways until she reached the elite junior level with the Rebels.

“I started in Under 10s with the boys,” Cook said at the Coates Talent League Girls Preseason Testing Day earlier this month. Then pretty much played up until Under 15s when I wasn’t allowed to play with the boys. I moved over to the girls and I played for Baccus Marsh.

“Pretty much played with them until 2021, and then I was lucky enough to get invited to play Under 16s with the Rebels in their development team. I think I played two games, and then made my debut for the Under 18s, so then I’ve been playing with them ever since.”

Cook is happy to play anywhere on the field and her strengths and improvements align with not only that, but of a player teammates are happy to get the ball in the hands of regularly.

“I’m a very versatile player,” Cook said. “Very clean with my disposals. What I want to work on being hard at the ball, hardball gets, and also my groundballs.”

After the disappointment of missing out on representing her state at the national championships, the 170cm player is honing in on going one better in 2024.

“I want to try and make Vic Country this year,” Cook said. “That’s my biggest goal. I tried out for it last year but I didn’t make it, so that’s one of my biggest goals and see where I go from there.”

There will be a three-week break between matches for Cook and the Rebels, with her side not playing until April 20 when they head to Preston City Oval to take on the Northern Knights.

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