Anderson lives out WAFLW premiership dream

AFTER the heartbreak of last season’s grand final loss to East Fremantle, over-age forward Bec Anderson was able to achieve the glory that evaded her in her debut League year, when Claremont knocked off East Fremantle in the WAFL Women’s Grand Final on Sunday.

Anderson was a surprise packet last season for the Tigers, playing just five games after making her debut in Round 14, holding her place for both finals including the decider. In the 2023 WAFLW Grand Final, Anderson had six touches, four marks and kicked a goal, similar numbers to her four disposals, two marks and a major on the weekend.

However for the now experienced Anderson who is a season wiser, she played 14 additional League grams – as well as three Rogers Cup matches – finishing her 19-year-old season as a premiership player. After a strong start to the season, Anderson hit a mid-season slump, but returned to the side in Round 14 yet again, and then booted six goals in her last four games, including five across her three finals series to finish with 10 for the season.

Speaking to Anderson heading into the season, the over-ager spoke of the professionalism at the Tigers and what it took to hold her spot in the lineup.

“Claremont has a very high standard, I’d say we’re a very fit club as well,” Anderson said. “Everyone drives the standards and everyone gets around each other which pushes training and train at match intensity and just pushes everyone together to perform better.”

Her football journey started three hours north of Perth, up in a town called Carnamah, before relocating to Perth for school and joining the traditional footballing pathway to reach the sub-elite level in the WAFLW.

“I started playing Auskick with the boys and then did like juniors which was Nippers all with the boys then came to Perth for high school and played juniors at Claremont and then thought I’d go play some Rogers and then started playing League halfway through last year,” Anderson said.

“I played a little bit of ruck last year, but I think I’m more of a natural forward, so playing full-forward, half-forward.”

That is exactly where she played, showing off some of her best traits which include her marking and kicking, while being able to find the goals when given the chance. working on her endurance and opposite left foot at training, the West Coast fan looked up to a similar player at the elite level.

“In the AFL Oscar Allen‘s pretty good,” Anderson said. “He’s a very good leader and player and I just love the way he plays and I look up to him in terms of playing the role of a tall forward.”

While Allen has been a player she has looked up to, her greatest mentor to-date has been far closer to home.

“My dad pushes me with all my sports,” Anderson said. “I played quite a range of sports, and just with everything he gives me that criticism I need to be like ‘wake up and work harder’ really. Especially with my footy, it’s not just ‘oh you’re a girl, you can be as a good as the boys and play at a high level’.”

As for the goals Anderson set at the start of the season, she could be pretty pleased with what she has been able to accomplish in that time.

“I just want to have a cracker season, play League the whole season and see where that goes,” Anderson said. “See how I perform and just work on what I said before, my fitness and all that to get my game better and have a couple more touches on the field.”

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