Brush prepares for 'last' AFLW game just in case soccer calls again

Ellie Brush will throw everything she's got into the last game of the GWS Giants' season just in case it's the final game of her AFLW career.

The former Canberra United W-League captain will return to the capital to lead the Giants into a clash against the Geelong Cats at Manuka Oval on Friday night.

Ellie Brush and the GWS Giants are returning to Manuka Oval. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

Ellie Brush and the GWS Giants are returning to Manuka Oval. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

Brush put her soccer career on hold this year to focus solely on Australian football and it has paid dividends, emerging as one of the Giants' best despite a disappointing season for the club.

But Brush is unsure if she will be a one-sport player next season after juggling both W-League and the AFLW for two years. Or if she will choose to go back to her soccer roots and put the AFLW on hold.

"I've still got a little burning desire to go back to soccer," Brush said. "It didn't finish how I wanted in terms of results. I still feel like I've had a great soccer career and if I don't go back, that's no drama. But I'd still like to give it another challenge.

"I made the decision this year to do one sport to give that sport my full attention, time and professionalism it deserved. The choice was playing footy this year.

"But this might be my last footy game, I don't know. Going back to soccer may be next year, or I may give footy another crack. I'm not in a position to know the answer to that yet."

The Giants have made three changes to the side to play in Canberra as they aim to finish the season on a high.

Former ACT Meteor and Belconnen Magpies player Jodie Hicks has been ruled out with a knee injury after failing a fitness test on Thursday night.

Recruit Delam Gisu will make her AFLW debut and become the first woman from the Torres Strait Islands to play in the competition.

Brush will start the game at centre back, the same position on the field she played for more than 100 games for Canberra United.

"We've got nothing to lose. There hasn't really been anything [to lose] for the last couple of weeks for us," Brush said.

"It's amazing to be back [in Canberra], it still feels like coming home. The season definitely hasn't gone the way we've wanted, but the kids that will come out here don't care if we're winning or losing.

"As a kid growing up in Canberra I know I would have absolutely loved coming out and seeing chicks run around playing footy. So that's the main thing, and we're just building for the future."

The Giants have won just one game in conference B and need a good performance against the Cats to ensure they don't slip to the bottom of the table.

Brush had her best game of the season in a 32-point loss to Adelaide, which was closer than the score suggested.

The 31-year-old has averaged 12 disposals, 2.6 marks and 1.6 tackles per game, hitting season highs in almost every statistical category in the clash against Adelaide.


Friday: GWS Giants v Geelong Cats at Manuka Oval, 7.15pm. Entry is free.


FB: Pepa Randall, Ellie Brush, Amanda Farrugia

HB: Phoebe Monahan, Tanya Hetherington, Nicola Barr

C: Rebecca Beeson

HF: Yvonne Bonner, Jessica Dal Pos, Elle Bennetts

FF: Delma Gisu, Cora Staunton, Christina Bernardi

RR: Erin McKinnon, Alyce Parker, Alicia Eva

Interchange: Louise Stephenson, Haneen Zreika, Lisa Whiteley, Courtney Gum, Brittany Perry

In: Delma Gisu, Phoebe Monahan, Haneen Zreika

Out: Jodie Hicks (knee), Ingrid Nielsen (omitted), Jacinda Barclay (collarbone)

Emergencies: Maddy Collier, Tait Mackrill

This story Brush prepares for 'last' AFLW game just in case soccer calls again first appeared on The Age.