ALLY Bild’s hunger to achieve her dream of being drafted by an AFLW club saw the immensely talented teen complete her own two-month pre-season training program before Collingwood’s VFLW team started theirs in November.
After breaking through for three games in her debut season with the Pies last year, Bild was hell-bent on taking her game to the next level.
“I was given some really positive and constructive feedback at the end of last season, which resulted in me engaging with a strength and conditioning coach,” Bild told The AJN.
For five months, the Mount Scopus College graduate committed to an intense fitness program designed to improve her aerobic capacity.
It also overlapped with Collingwood’s pre-season, which incorporated skills, fitness and speed training two to three nights a week, as well as a few practice matches.
Bild’s outstanding commitment to the cause earned her selection in the Pies’ season opener against the Southern Saints at a revamped RSEA Park, in Moorabbin, alongside a host of AFLW stars.
The club was happy with the progress the 19-year-old had made with her fitness and strength, and gave the halfback flanker an opportunity to show her wares as a midfielder, and she impressed, named in her side’s best players despite a heavy loss.
Throughout her time with Collingwood, Bild has developed close bonds with key people as she strives to realise her AFLW dream.
“I have a really strong relationship with the AFLW captain, Steph Chiocci, who I look up to and [who] has taken me under her wing,” Bild said.
And as for a player she tries to emulate, well that’s easy. “Jaime Lambert. Her skills are elite, her pace is electric and she is a strong, in and under player that makes great decisions under pressure.”
Following stints with AJAX, St Kilda Sharks and Sandringham Dragons in the elite U18 competition, Bild caught the eye of multiple VFLW clubs and was invited to train with Richmond, North Melbourne, Williamstown and Collingwood, before signing with the Pies.
Eighteen months into her VFLW journey, the Black and White’s number 48 has three goals she’s adamant to achieve in 2019.
“My first would be to make myself available for selection for every game, play every game and set myself up to be in the best position possible come draft day in October.”
And as for her draft prospects, Bild was cheekily tight-lipped. “I don’t kiss and tell but I am hopeful that I am going to put myself in the best position possible come October.”
She’s linked up with local club Caulfield Grammarians where she’ll play if not selected at VFLW level, alongside former Jackettes Chelsea Fisher, Julia Caplan, Isabelle Tomas and Toni Hamilton.
Collingwood’s next VFLW match will be against reigning premiers Hawthorn on May 18 at Victoria Park.