• Jayden J Bartlett

Molly Brooksby - a Promising Prospect from the Parade

Molly Brooksby: classy, quick and, above all else, promising. There is something about Molly’s debut season in the South Australian National Football League Women’s (SANFLW) competition that just screams ‘promise’.

Like the Sir Edwin T. Smith Pavilion that hugs one end of Coopers Stadium. There is something about Molly’s first year in the SANFLW that simply makes it stands out. Maybe it is because she averaged 12 touches a match, maybe it is because she averaged 4 tackles a game – or maybe it is because she rarely wasted the footy; finishing with an 82 per cent disposal efficiency.

We believe it is a combination of all these things. Her quick pace, her accurate kick, and her willingness to attack the footy; all weaved together to make one exciting football prospect.

However, looking at Molly’s footballing past, there is one aspect that truly stands out – and that is her ability to make an impact on a side so soon after joining them.

For example, take her time with her local club, Golden Grove. Molly, who had played soccer for 11 years, decided to sign up to play football after hearing that there was a girls' competition starting – and since she “always loved watching footy” – this decision seemed a no-brainer for her.

After playing a different sport for over a decade, you might expect Molly to have had some trouble adjusting to the rules and skills of footy – but it seemed she was a natural at the game.

“I’ve always kicked the footy, so it wasn’t too bad,” Molly said when asked if she had trouble changing codes. “The hardest thing was trying to figure out whose ball it was when the umpire blew their whistle. Because in soccer the umpire points forwards and in footy they point backwards.”

Having grown up playing soccer with the boys for the most of her life – her rough and tumble attitude quickly saw her make a mark at Golden Grove.

This toughness would later shine through when she was picked up by Norwood. But at this time, her toughness and promising skills led her to claim 3 consecutive Association Medals during her first 3 years of football (2017 to 2019).

Continuing to develop and grow, Molly was eventually selected into the Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy which “was awesome”.

“… It was great fun too and had lots of learning experiences.”

In 2021, Molly was selected to represent the South Australian under-17s state squad – and, because she was beginning to shine extremely bright, she was also invited to begin training with the Norwood Redlegs.

She juggled her Redlegs’ training sessions with her soccer and Golden Grove commitments – and this dedication to stick with it paid off as she was promoted to Norwood’s SANFLW list for the 2022 season.

Molly represented SA earlier this year - this image was taken by MWM.

Molly, at 16 years of age and on the back of 5 years of footy experience, had made it onto a SANFLW list. By now, word had gotten around about an exciting new prospect at the Parade – and people didn’t have to wait long to see this new prospect in action.

After impressing during the preseason, Molly was rewarded with a Round One SANFLW debut.

“Before I was nervous but as we were warming up I had so much adrenaline and I was so excited,” Molly said about her debut experience. “Once I got out there I was just in the zone.”

Molly’s debut match was played at Coopers Stadium. There, in the shadow of the Sir Edwin T. Smith Pavilion, she displayed her willingness to attack the footy for the first time in the SANFLW. She finished with a modest 8 disposals and 6 tackles – by the end of the year, she had collected a further 98 touches and 40 tackles.

“… Afterwards, I was so happy that I had played my first league game,” Molly said.

Following her debut match, Molly continued to play reliable and consistent footy for the Redlegs – which was quickly coming her beloved second home.

“Norwood is the best place to be, the people make the game so much more enjoyable. I haven’t been there for long, but I love it,” Molly said.

And while her debut season didn’t have the fairy-tale ending that she would have hoped for – she was still thankful for the “great experiences and the heaps of chances for learning and improvement”.

This soccer convert had certainly grown and developed during her debut SANFLW season. After coming over to Norwood from Golden Grove, the young prospect continued to play consistently well week-in and week-out despite the spotlight being put on her – and this tendency to play reliable, tough, and impressive football saw her get selected into the history-making 2022 South Australian under-18s state squad.

“It was a great opportunity,” Molly said about the state selection. “So much talent in the state and we have all worked very hard to wear that gurney. It definitely means a lot.”

Impressively, having a successful first season under her belt hasn’t made Molly rest on her morals. Instead, this 16-year-old has already begun looking ahead once again – with her development being the main path forwards.

“My main goal is to keep improving, and then whatever happens from there happens. But I really wanna build on my game performance and become the best player I can be,” Molly said.

Most cannot wait to see what the best version of Molly Brooksby is. Since where she sits today is a prospect who is classy, who is quick and, above all else, who is extremely promising.

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Article #233

Minutes with Moose would like to thank all of our ambassadors.

Norwood image has been kindly supplied by Molly: state image was taken by MWM.

#WatchtheWomen #SANFLW #Norwood #MinuteswithMoose

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