New Williamstown VFL Women’s footballer Chelsea Humphrey. Photo: PAUL MENSCH
By MITCH RODD
THE dream of playing top flight football is well and truly alive for local talent Chelsea Humphrey, PICTURED.
The Cardross Women’s Football Club product is set to play with Williamstown in the Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) in 2018. The Seagulls will join the leading State competition for the first time.
Chelsea had been invited to train with the Seagulls as well as St Kilda and Richmond, but the pocket rocket on-baller seemed destined to join the grand old club situated by the water.
While the offer to train with Williamstown, and then her subsequent selection into the squad came as a surprise, Chelsea is excited for what might be in store.
“This will only be my third season of football after playing the last two years in the Sunraysia Women’s Football League,” she said.
“It has all happened pretty quickly. But I’m really excited to see how it all goes.
“It’s definitely hard. At the try-outs there were 70 girls who had all the skills and fitness. They had every base covered.
“When I went to Melbourne I thought it would be all about fitness, fitness, fitness, but it was actually more about skill levels and seeing who had a footy brain more than anything. I think that suited me better because I think skills are my strong suit.”
Williamstown, to be coached by VFLW star and member of the inaugural AFL Women’s match Amy Catterall, has seen a number of local footballers, including James Flack, Jacob Chisari and Tyler Curtis, join their VFL playing ranks in recent years.
Chelsea, who currently works with the Mildura Basketball Association, is likely to relocate to Melbourne over the coming weeks, and she said the powers-that-be at the Seagulls have been brilliant.
“The club have been fantastic and have already offered to help find me a job and accommodation,” she said.
“It’s a lot to think about. I have a life and a job here that I’ll be leaving, but I’m really excited to give this a go.
“I’ll have my own midfield coach I’ll be working under at the club. There will also be access to dieticians, strength and condition coaches and everything else you need in a professional environment. I’m looking forward to using them to make me a better footballer.
“The atmosphere of the club blew me away and they are very understanding of my situation coming from Mildura and are keen to help out as much as possible. They really want their girls to go to the next level and with the talent we’ve got in the squad, I think we can be in for a good year.
“Because the club is standalone now, I think they were surprised they got a women’s license, but I think there is an ambition to get the club into the AFLW system.”
Chelsea joins her 34 teammates for pre-season training on January 15 to build up to game one of the 2018 Swisse VFLW season on May 5.