By Julia Montesano
The Coburg Football Club is delighted to finalise its playing list with the signing of Essendon VFLW utility, Eloise Gardner.
Gardner joins Teagan Brett (Carlton VFLW) and Jenna Richardson (Hawthorn VFLW) as the club’s VFLW-listed players in 2021. Not only does Gardner have VFLW experience with Essendon, but she also has three years of experience playing with the Darebin Falcons in the state-based competition. She believes she is in good stead to make a mark in the AFL South Eastern Women’s Competition this year for the Lions, having played against teams like the Eastern Devils and St Kilda Sharks as a former Darebin player. Coburg has already made a mark on Gardner, despite being tied up with VFLW commitments at the moment.
“I had a couple of friends who were training at Coburg and they had spoken about how good the culture was,” she said. “I know Coburg wants to get in the VFLW in a couple of years, I know they’re taking it pretty seriously and have set the program up pretty well so I thought it was going to be a pretty good fit for me. Once VFLW is over, it’s somewhere I can go back to play some local footy at a competitive level and a place where I can keep learning and enjoy the game.”
Gardner’s football career has lasted for five years so far, but her sports career has been lasting for even longer. Since she was five years old, she played basketball, cricket and soccer, before dedicating her time and effort to football. Gardner has reaped the benefits of that decision and feels ready to take the next leap in her career.
“I’d love to get into the AFLW eventually,” she said. “But in the meantime, I think not playing in the past year has just made me want to play football again and enjoy it.”
The Lions are especially excited about Gardner’s versatility. Standing at 175cm tall, she can play a key position up forward or down back, and she believes she can make an influence at one end in particular this year.
“I think I’ll be playing a bit more down back this year, which is exciting,” she said.”I suppose I’m that tall back liner that can go back and take a few marks. I like to think of myself as a pretty good user of the footy coming out of the back line so hopefully I’ll be able to set up and rebound off the back line.”
Just like Eloise Gardner, you can commit to the Lions for 2021 by purchasing one of our 2021 memberships which are on sale now! Make sure you keep up to date with all the news from the Lions new women’s side by following our new page on Instagram @coburgfcw.