Players to Watch

Aasta O'ConnorAasta O'Connor: Victoria

Many consider Aasta the best female footballer in Australia. This is no mean feat given the pool of talented footballers in the game at women’s level.

O’Connor has been prevalent in the ruck at National level for Queensland but recently moved to Melbourne and thus helped Victoria to their 12th straight victory in women’s Nationals.

She displays a good spring to execute her ruck work, is tough and unrelenting in her approach, is brave and is often found at the bottom of a pack dishing the ball out to her smaller players.

O’Connor is the complete team player and hence performs one percenters (blocks, shepherds, tackles) frequently and handles the ball cleanly whether its on the ground or above her head during a contest.

Aasta is also an inspiration to many female footballers and should come as no surprise that some of the younger girls in the High Performance Academy rate her as the footballer they would most like to play like.

O’Connor earned selection in the AIS/AFL Academy during the 2011 Grand Final week from which she has learnt an enormous amount.

"The coaches were amazing and I really enjoyed the session on mental toughness," O’Connor said. "It’s one of the areas of the female game that is not really understood."

This statement coming from one of the toughest female footballers in Australia means there is still a lot that even the best footballers can learn about the game.