Elise Vella - the Team Player
There seems to be two types of players in football; those who are in it for the team, and those who are in it for themselves.
And with this in mind, we would like to introduce you to someone who is in it for their team, Victoria’s very own Elise Vella.
Elise is one of those wholesome players that truly enjoys seeing her teammates reach success and achieve their dreams. And can be best described as a team-player who cares more about the collective team rather than her own individual success.
However, as you can probably tell by now, Elise has found herself in the spotlight; and for good reasons to.
And this is because, whether she will admit it or not, she has a lot of potential.
With four years of football under her belt already; Elise has donned the colours of several sides throughout this time;
“Torquay Tigers, Interleague, V/Line cup, Western jets, Geelong Falcons, Vic Country.”
Add to this, a taste of VFLW with Geelong, and we’ve got ourselves a young player with a diverse range of experience already.
And while she represented Vic Country this year, it is by no means her only football achievements either. Which include, winning the 2018 Best and Fairest for the Torquay Tigers “and also in 2018 we won the TAC Cup with Geelong Falcons”.
But how did this humble player get into football to begin with, what did she do before it?
“Actually nothing; I never player a team sport until football. I actually started playing the day after school football because I got my teacher to message my mum and convinced her to let me play.”
So, being new not just to football but also team sport, how did she manage to pick it up so quickly?
“I think that I asked a heap of questions from more experienced people and try to absorb as much as I could. I also tried to seek as much information on what I’m doing wrong and how I can improve.”
The ability to seek advice and look for ways to improve are extremely positive signs to see in a young player, which certainly helps explain why Elise has developed and improved rather quickly.
Likewise, this also explains why the advice she has to new players out there is;
“To make the most of your coaches, ask questions, seek advice, get to training early and stay back, because those are the things that are going to help you improve.”
While all of this puts into perspective of why she is a promising player, it doesn’t show the core of why she is special.
And to show that best, we just have to ask what she enjoys most about the game;
“I just love the competitiveness around the game, and how close you become with your teammates.”
Likewise, asking her what her favourite moments have been so far;
“Definitely winning the premiership with Geelong Falcons, but also seeing my mates making to AFLW.”
And even asking her to go more in-depth into the Grand Final;
“Coming into it we had a lot of pressure on us because we hadn’t lost a game, but our coach Jason also kept us modest and humble. It was very surreal, just the atmosphere was like I’ve never experienced before. I’m so privileged to be able to say I’ve played with some of those legends that share that historic day.”
What does all of these responses have in common?
Well, she addresses her teammates or friends in some form in every favourite moment or memory. Which brings us back to what we said at the start about truly being in it for the team.
And it is this passion and positive team-first attitude that can take her far in football, maybe as far as one of her good friends;
“If I had to choose one, I would choose Mia Skinner. She is such an inspiration and she has overcome so many hurdles to become an AFLW player. She always puts in 100% and pushes me to do the same.”
And despite her promising position, her gratitude has made sure she hasn’t forgotten about the ones who have helped her this far;
“I would like to thank Jason Armistead and the coaching crew at Geelong Falcons. They really supported me and helped me improve both on and off the field.”
So, what is next for this humble player?
“My long-term goal is to make the AFLW, but my short-term goals are to play some VFLW and keep improving myself until I reach the AFLW standard.”
While we cannot say for certain what the future holds for Elise, it is safe to say that she has the potential to push to the top tier and join her friend Mia.
But at the end of the day, the one thing that is for certain, is that she will prove to be a valuable player for any team that is lucky enough to have her.
Photographs by AFL Photos, Cats Media
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