Rising through the ranks, Tassie teen ready for draft

SILKY midfielder Claire Ransom is one of the first Tasmanian women to have had the opportunity to play through every rank of junior footy.

The 18-year-old – who makes sure she tapes her own ankles before every game – looks set to be selected in this year's NAB AFLW Draft, and is well prepared for what lies ahead.

"I started playing footy when I was 12, and it was with the North Hobart Football Club, and I've stayed there throughout my whole juniors and seniors as well," Ransom told womens.afl.

"It was the first year girls football was introduced in Tassie, and now it's grown into something really big in the state.

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"In Tassie at the moment, women's footy has completely taken off. The first year of junior girls was five or six years ago, and we started off with 10 players for every side and we just had little matches, and then the next year it grew to a full season with nearly all clubs participating."

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Ransom, a year 12 student at Guilford Young College in Hobart, has a knowledgeable ear in her corner, with father Jim having been involved in the Tassie Devils girls' program for the past few years.

"He's been our backline coach this year, and has coached me through juniors as well. He's been a very big supporter of mine and has helped me through levels of footy," she said.

Claire Ransom in action for the Allies/NT against NSW/ACT and Allies NT on April 18, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"I actually enjoy him coaching. He's very hard on me, which I used to struggle with a little bit, but I know his knowledge is something everyone can benefit from, not just me, so I'm really happy he's part of the team and women's program.

"He wants me to be the best I can, so he likes to use me as an example of what not to do," she finished with a laugh.

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The NAB AFLW Academy member averaged 19.4 disposals, 4.6 tackles and 4.1 inside 50s from her seven NAB League matches this year, with her agility around stoppages holding her in good stead throughout the season.

Ransom missed the final two matches of the season due to a stress reaction in her foot – a condition she has been managing for several years – but has once again got it under control.

South Australia's Julia Clark and the Allies' Claire Ransom in a 2021 AFLW U19 Championships match on April 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

A mad Collingwood fan, it's unsurprising the former state level basketballer nominates Scott Pendlebury as one of her favourites.

"My strengths are my attack on the ball and being able to evade other players," Ransom said.

"The thing I love most is finding space and getting to run, then being able to hit that kick.

"I played basketball from a really young age, and a bit of netball as well, but both fell away because I loved footy more. Being involved in both state programs was too much."