Q&A: Laela Ebert (North Adelaide)

BOASTING a famous South Australian surname, North Adelaide top-ager Laela Ebert is forging her own path at SANFL Women’s level. Though she has missed the past few weeks due to concussion protocols after earning a Breakthrough Player nomination in Round 10 of the season, Ebert has had a wonderful 2024 thus far rotating from half-back to midfield.

The daughter of 100-game Rooster Daniel, Ebert represented South Australia as a lockdown defender last year, but is tipped to have a more offensive role at this year’s AFLW Under 18 Championships. We spoke to Ebert at the South Australian Preseason Testing Day ahead of the season.

Q: Laela, tell us a little bit about your football journey Football journey?

LE: “I started in Under 6s at Modbury and I just played with the boys until Under 12s and then went to the boys and then went from there.”

Q: Then you were zoned into North?

LE: “My dad helped me because he played 100 games so father-daughter sort of thing and went to North from that.”

Q: Famous name in general in South Australia, what’s it like coming through as the latest name in the family?

LE: “I have a few people come up to me all excited asking if i’m related but it’s not too big yet, it’ll get there hopefully.”

Q: What club do you support?

LE: “I go for Port.”

Q: Talk us through your two ACL knee injuries and your recovery from them?

LE: “The first one was when I was 14, that was a new thing had no idea what was happening. and then the recovery from that one pretty hard. It hit me really hard where I couldn’t do anything for a while, and I came back and two months after coming back the other one went. So it was a long 24 months with no footy or anything, but back now and feeling a lot better.”

Q: What did you do to avoid getting injured again when you returned?

LE: “I did a lot of strengthening stuff and over this preseason I’ve worked heaps already so it’s a lot of mental side of it, confidence and all that. But it’s slowly getting there. I’m trying not to strap it anymore, so confidence is just getting there and that’s about it.”

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

LE: “My strength in my game when I’m feeling very confident can be explosiveness. When I was back at Modbury I was very explosive moving in and out of the pack, and a lot of my skills help me as well. A lot of skill development and all that sort of stuff.”

Q: Best position at the moment?

LE: “At the moment I reckon maybe a sweeping midfielder would be ideal, because I can go both ways with both feet, and maybe a small forward as I’m a little bit crafty there.”

Q: What are you looking to improve on at the moment?

LE: “More awareness of finding the ball. When I get the ball I can use it, but I still need to find it so I’m working on that a lot.”

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

LE: “Erin Phillips is a big one. Monique Conti as well. A lot of the onballers I look up to a lot.”

Q: Who’s had the greatest influence on your career?

LE: “Growing up would have been my dad helping me out with everything. I’d say my dad overall.”

Q: What goals have you set for yourself?

LE: “Definitely to look to improve my overall game sense and aim to get drafted hopefully. Play a bit more on-ball with the SA squad would be nice. Getting drafted is the big goals, so working on all the little things as well. I’ve got heaps of coaches helping me out with that, so working on everything.”

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