Intercept gun starting to smoke
CARLTON defenseman Charlotte Wilson has an apt way to describe her rapid rise from unproven youngster to established regular defense at Ikon Park.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I also think it takes a village to raise an athlete,” Wilson said. women.afl.
For the talented 20-year-old, this “village” is the experienced Carlton bottom line that surrounds her. Together, they provided the perfect buffer for Wilson to learn his craft and quickly become one of the League’s most valuable interception defenders.
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“They had a huge influence. Kerryn Harrington, Gab Pound, Mua Laloifi, Natalie Plane… they are all inspiring players, who have a lot to add to the squad,” Wilson said.
“Kez, in particular, is really good. She’s going to go through some extra vision with you and give you learning points, but she’ll also tell you to tuck your head in if she needs it. She always tells me to focus. and reset and focus on the things that are important.
“Gab is another very experienced player who has been playing for a while now. She always has little technical things to show you. In the baseline, be it something as simple as standing next to it so that you can see the game and your player. She’s good at giving little reminders that help you get started and stay in the moment.
“I am really grateful to have them as teammates.”
This collection of Carlton defenders allowed Wilson to settle comfortably into a cohesive backline. Although only in her third season, she has now played 15 of 16 games since debuting in 2019 and is already one of the most important players on the team.
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Able to effectively neutralize some of the opposition’s top key attackers, Wilson is equally adept at drifting and intercepting. This has perhaps never been more important than in the final stages of Saturday’s thrilling victory over Richmond, where she took part in a number of aerial fights as the Tigers scored a late goal.
But despite being ranked No.1 at the club for per game ratings last season, her seemingly innate ability to intercept came to her anything but naturally.
“Learning to read the game and understand where the ball goes is something I’ve been trying to work on for years,” Wilson said.
“I remember the Under-18s when I was playing in the NAB League, I was playing with a girl who was a defender who always got interception marks. I remember asking her how she did that and she always did. Said she didn’t know and it just happened I was so jealous.
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“It just comes from looking at the vision and finally playing. Then you start to learn how people move around the field and how they can kick and where your player is… many factors come into play. account.
“It’s tough, it’s very tough, because you take a bet every time you throw yourself in. Are you going to score the ball? Or are you sticking to your player? It’s a huge debate that any defender would understand. “
Wilson will undoubtedly have this debate on several occasions this Saturday evening, when Carlton meets one of the AFLW flags in North Melbourne in a highly anticipated meet at the University of Tasmania Stadium.
For the Blues, this is the perfect opportunity to get one against a team of Kangaroos they were supposed to face in last year’s preliminary final – before the season was abruptly called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was a long time ago now,” Wilson said.
“We were supposed to play them, but this season is a new season. It’s a clean slate. If we start to think too much about our good results last year, we could get ourselves into trouble.
“We just have to take it week by week and see how we’re doing. We have to work hard and we’ll see what the end result will be.”
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