• Jayden J Bartlett

Ebony Marinoff - the Exceptional Crow

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

“Definitely would just have to be to work hard and be passionate about what you’re doing. I am in love with what I do, so training hard never seems hard for me; don’t get me wrong there’s some tough sessions and we face lots of hurdles but the rewards that come eventually are always worth it. Never be satisfied, continue to get the best out of yourself on and off the field.”


Ebony Marinoff; where should we begin?

Maybe by mentioning that she is quickly becoming a common household name in the world of women’s footy.

Or maybe by pointing out that she was the inaugural AFL Women's Rising Star winner in 2017 or that she is in fact a dual AFL Women's Premiership player and a dual AFL Women's All-Australian. All of which she earned in just the past four years.

However, when Ebony first began playing football, back before being in the spotlight and playing in front of thousands of fans; she was busy being the only female player at the Lockleys Football Club, where she would play from age six to 14.

She then made the move to the Morphettville Park’s U18s side when she was 15, and it was here that she would eventually be drafted by the Adelaide Crows.

Going from being the only girl in the team to playing in front of 53 thousand spectators; Ebony witnessed and was a part of the growth of women’s football.

“It has been an incredible rise and I feel like to have watched it firsthand grow.”

“It makes me so happy when I go out to schools and see so many girls playing and what makes me even happy is to all the junior clubs that have all grade girls’ teams as that’s something so many of us never had.”

However, originally, she never even thought it would be possible to be where she is today.

“To be honest, I didn’t really dream of it because it was never something that was allowed but as soon as I found out about the AFLW then it certainly became a dream.”

And that dream became a reality when she was picked up by the Adelaide Crows with the clubs first pick and the seventh overall in the 2016 AFLW draft.

“To be drafted to AFC and to be an AFLW player and on a list meant everything to me and everything I had work toward.”

And to become the first female player to be drafted by the Adelaide Crows is something that the humble champion holds very dear.

“It was incredible; I think I take it in more of what an achievement it was to be Crows first pick a bit more now that I understand it a bit more.”

Let’s be honest, saying Ebony Marinoff is successful would be an understatement, so with that in mind, it is no surprise that she loves so much about the game that she is so good at.

“The competitive nature of the game; the bonds you create with your teammates and winning Premierships.”

And winning Premierships is something Ebony has experienced several times throughout her footy career; with the AFLW Premierships certainly being very cherish memories for the young star.

“The first one was so hectic and just crazy as the score was so close to the dying seconds.”

“The second probably meant more given what we had been working together for all season under our new coach Dr Clarke.”

“The special bond we shared to be such a powerhouse team that season was a credit to ever player on the list and Adelaide oval in front of 53,000 is something I’ll never be able to describe.”

To go along with the Premierships; Ebony mentioned teammates as being one her favourite things about the game. No doubt because a Premiership is only as good as the teammates you get to experience it with.

And one of these teammates in particular is none other than Courtney Cramey.

“My best mate Courtney Cramey, l actually like to call it my fairy tale.”

“When I came to Morphies there was this super star people called CJ. I watched her train and play I just wanted to be CJ. A year later, turned out that she was my U18 Youth Girls Coach, I was a bit of a rat bag back then; much more mature now I would like to think.”

“Later that year I made my senior debut alongside CJ, it probably wasn’t until the following year CJ really took me under her wing."

"It is like she saw this young immature kid who had potential and was like ‘I’m going to try help this kid become great and if she wants it she’ll ride the wave with me’, and that is exactly what I did.”

Then “running sessions after running session, boxing session after boxing session and skills sessions after skills session. To a few years later, we both ending up on the Crows list together".

"From then on our friendship has blossomed and she is now someone I get to call my best mate.”

To hear that Ebony values her teammates just as much, if not more than a Premiership. Goes to show what type of character Ebony Marinoff truly is.

With that character being a very appreciative, passionate and just an overall wonderful person. A perfect example of the characters that make up the female footballing community.

Even despite being one of the most recognisable names in football at the moment, she is still the same, laidback player that she was when she was running around for the Lockleys Football Club.

And as a laidback player; she is not afraid to tell some tales, even if it is probably not the best achievement that she’s talking about.

And that is because, as well as two Premierships and two All-Australian selections, Ebony has also spilt her tongue open twice.

“Split it in two the first year and had a hole in it last year; that is what happens when you play with your tongue out.”

Injuries aside, to add to that appreciative side, Ebony has some people she would like to thank for helping her reach this extraordinary height.

“My parents have given me every opportunity to be successful and Rell Smith, my first women’s coach; I wouldn’t be the player I am today without her.”

And of course, the Adelaide Football Club also plays a major part in Ebony’s life now.

“A massive part and I’m very lucky.”

And even during the AFLW offseason, she was “at the club a couple days of the week in the commercial events team”.

“I am actually really lucky to work upstairs and see the day to day work evolve behind the four walls.”

And with passion like this towards her club and her teammates, it is not a surprise what the humble star wants to achieve going forwards.

“I would love to go back to back with the Crows; so, I will just be working harder than ever to get fitter and stronger.”

The Crows so far this season are performing well, despite losing key players to injury.

As for Ebony, well she has certainly started the 2020 AFLW season off in style, averaging 24 disposals a game and collecting a total of 22 tackles in just the first three games.

With all that has been said; Ebony began as the only girl in her team and then quickly progressed through the ranks when female footballers were finally given the chance to perform on the national stage.

She has won Premierships, made the All-Australian team and won countless other accolades to the point where Ebony Marinoff is a highly spoken and respected name.

With so much development and improvement; the only thing that has really remained the same is that wonderful and kind personality she has had since the beginning.

A personality that she will continue to embrace as her career continues down an extremely promising and outstanding path.


Article #21 (UPDATED)

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#WatchTheWomen #AFLW #MinuteswithMoose #Genw #SouthAustralia #Crows

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