Ella Stoddart - the Powers' Newest Prospect
Dandenong versus Gippsland; this was by no means a blockbuster matchup since these two sides were from different ends of the ladder – but from this match came a new name in NAB League Girls footy.
It was Round Two of the 2022 NAB League Girls competition. As mentioned, these two sides ended up having very different seasons – but as in any one-sided match, the stars from the underdogs' team play above and beyond in an attempt to give their club a chance.
For context, Gippsland has no shortage of talent. Alisha Molesworth, Sunday Brisbane, Yasmin Duursma, Ash Centra and Indi Makai are just some of the names of Power players that you can count on for having a good game.
Yet this particular game was different. Because, amongst Brisbane, Molesworth, and their other usual performers; there was a new name that played brilliantly – and that name was Ella Stoddart.
While she made her NAB League Girls debut in Round One. It was her Round Two display that included 21 touches and 10 rebound 50s that made the Stoddart name truly stand out.
And by the time her debut season was done, Ella had an average of 15 disposals, 5 rebound 50s and 4 tackles a match. Impressively, she also finished with the fourth-highest average disposal count within the Power line-up.
“I’m pretty happy with it,” Ella said when questioned on her debut season performance. “And I think I’m gonna just go with it for now.”
While this year has seen the young defender’s name get thrust into the spotlight; these great NAB League performances have been a long time coming.
Ella, who became interested in football because of her brother, began playing football way back in 2013 with the Police Boy Junior Football Club.
From here, Ella gradually grew and developed on the field – while also becoming increasingly more passionate about the sport off the field.
“It keeps me fit and active, and I’ve met like a lot of my friends from it,” she said when asked what her favourite thing about footy is.
If we had to pinpoint a year that her career began to take shape; 2016 stands as the main turning point. It was a year when her side won the Grand Final by a point. This thrilling game not only stands out as one of her favourite moments, but it was also a match where she was named the Best on Ground.
From here Ella’s promising footy journey began to take shape rapidly. In 2017 she received the ANZAC Medal and finished runners-up in the Best and Fairest Count.
Similarly, 2018 saw Ella finish runner-up Best and Fairest again. But she went one further in 2019 by claiming her club’s Best and Fairest and her League’s Best and Fairest – she also represented Traralgon in Interleague footy.
After Covid brought footy in Victoria to a standstill, Ella welcomed back its return in 2021 by earning a spot in the Traralgon All-Stars side and finishing runner-up to the Best and Fairest yet again – meaning that she was either first or second in the count for roughly four straight seasons.
“It’s a pretty good feeling you know, to have all the hard work you put in pay off,” she said about her success in the medal count.
After enjoying plenty of success in local footy, Ella was recognised and rewarded with a spot on Gippsland’s NAB League Girls list.
“It’s been good as,” she said about her time with the Power. “All the girls are nice and it’s good to play with a lot of new people.”
This new chapter in her footy life brought about a change in her playing style as Ella, who was traditionally a midfielder in local footy, found herself playing defence for the Power.
Being crafty, courageous, and fast-paced; Ella got the chance to test her skills in her new position with a Round One debut in the 2022 season – which, as we stated at the start, went very well for her.
“Before (the debut match) I was nervous, I had many butterflies, but during it was good. Once I got out there I was fine and after it was a relief, I felt like I had a good game.”
From impressing within local footy to becoming one of the competition’s best rebounders of the footy, despite being just 15 years old, Ella has built herself a promising path within footy.
Yet she isn’t quite sure where she wants it to go next.
“I honestly don’t know,” she said when asked what her footy goals going forwards are. “I just kinda wanna keep getting better improve my skills more.”
Yet while Ella Stoddart may not know what she wants to achieve in footy next, we believe that this young gun defender has what it takes to have her name remain amongst the best players at the Power for the foreseeable future.
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All of these images have been kindly supplied by Ella Stoddart.