Ebony Marinoff’s energy is as contagious as her vibrant, wide smile.
Coming off the ground after her Adelaide Crows defeated the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval on Friday night, there wasn’t a coach or support staff member that she didn’t embrace or high five with gusto. And who could question her enthusiasm? Her team are 2-0 in the inaugural AFLW competition after a convincing win away from home.
(Adelaide midfielder, Ebony Marinoff (centre) sings the song with Stevie-Lee Thompson (left) & Erin Phillips (right). PHOTO: AFL Photos)
‘It’s unreal, you know I’ve been saying it all week!’
Marinoff laughs off her overuse of the word, but for her it is fitting as each week this competition is delivering her something spectacular to soak in and savour.
7,669 people packed Whitten Oval, another excellent attendance figure for AFLW, however the Pride of South Australia was just too strong for the Daughters of the West.
‘We knew it was going to be tough tonight, we didn’t ever come into this game knowing we had it in the bag. We knew that they had a strong midfield and could play them as backs with quality players like Hannah Scott, Aasta O’Connor and Katie Brennan. So we really had to believe in our structures and our one-on-one contests to go out and beat them.’
Already identified as one of the competition’s best young talents by picking up one of the NAB AFLW Rising Star nominations in Round One, Marinoff’s energy and enthusiasm for the new league is palpable.
‘It’s unreal!’ She says laughing at herself again. ‘I say it all the time and I’m going to get in trouble for keeping on saying it but this league is insane. I’m so excited and I can’t believe it’s here.’
With another strong personal performance under her belt, leading the disposals for the Crows with 18 and laying 6 tackles, Marinoff credits her confidence to calibre of the people around her.
‘I’ve been pretty confident leading into this, I’ve had a pretty strong pre-season behind me and I’m always learning, I’m nineteen years old and I know that my best footy is coming in the next few years. I just take everything from the people around me, I’m trying to feed on as much as I can from the coaches and other players to be the best player I can.
To be able to back that up with a good performance tonight is confidence building for myself and I’m excited to see where my football goes but at the end of the day it’s a team effort - and we played bloody sensational tonight!’
That they did and Marinoff is also confident that the team can continue their dominant form into next week’s clash against Carlton back at home.
‘Every game is a new game and Carlton are very strong. They’ve got Brianna Davey who’s hard to match up on so we’ll work through some structures on how to beat that, but we’ve got good speed.
We bring people into the game and I feel as though if you’re a team with a couple of stars and it’s just kick-to-kick you’re not going to win games, you’ve got to play your role and bring people into the game and that’s what we’ve done for the past two weeks.
We use our speed, we talk, we gel really well as a team and with half our team in Darwin…’
She takes a moment to soak it all and flashes her signature smile.
‘Just hats off to us!’