AFLW star Maddy Prespakis opens up about ‘amazing’ Essendon love ahead of ultimate grudge match

Young AFLW superstar Maddy Prespakis certainly raised some eyebrows as she tugged on her Essendon sweater after scoring in last week’s dramatic first round bout between the Bombers and Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium.

It was a quality game and Prespakis obviously rose to the occasion, but was this former Blue also sending a message to her old team-mates?

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Prespakis rocked the AFLW world at the end of last season when she left Carlton to join Essendon, one of the league’s four new teams.

And now, in round two, she will face off against her old teammates in a massive grudge match at 11.10am on Sunday morning at the ETU Stadium.

Scroll for the full Round 2 AFLW transfer guide

Prespakis is a real star of the game, winning the 2020 W Award (the AFLW’s highest award for fairest and best player).

Madison Prespakis celebrates a goal during the first round match between Essendon and Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium. Recognition: Michael Willson/AFL photos via Getty Images

The 21-year-old is also a two-time All-Australian and Rising Star winner and was the No. 3 draft pick in 2018.

Her defection to Essendon definitely hurts Carlton and in an interview with News Corp, Prespakis admitted some of her former teammates don’t speak to her anymore.

But Prespakis says she joined Essendon simply because the opportunity to play for the club she had been quartered for was just too good to pass up.

“The first game was just unreal,” said Prespakis.

“To get our first win, but even better – the first time I ran in the Essendon jersey I put my arm around one of my best friends Georgia Gee and we just smiled at each other and said ‘how good is that’.

“It’s great. Not many people get to play for the team they barracks for. It’s amazing.

“It had nothing to do with me moving to the club or anything. It just adds that certain special feeling, so I can put on the jersey (of the club) I’m barracking for.

Scroll for the full Round 2 AFLW transfer guide

“It’s very special and I definitely don’t take a minute for granted. Being able to wear it for the first time over the weekend was just amazing and I couldn’t take the smile off my face. I don’t think I slept that night after the game.

“People around me saw how happy I was and how much it meant to me.”

This Sunday’s game against Carlton is sure to be a smash hit as Essendon are seen as one of the strongest new teams in the competition after a stunning VFLW season.

And Prespakis says she’s ready to be physically assaulted by her old buddies from Carlton.

“I suppose there are still a few girls I spoke to on the phone about my move who were probably disappointed and didn’t really want to speak to me afterwards,” she said.

“I’m sure they’re still a bit disappointed but I still have huge friends for life at this club and I can’t wait to see them. I still speak to some of them every day and they still keep in touch with me and see me as the same person I was before I left.

“It doesn’t change our friendship. It just changes the sweater we wear. It will be great to see some of them.

“Probably a few boos are expected and maybe some of them want to attack me a little harder, but that’s part of football and I embrace every part of it, every challenge that comes with every game.

“If it’s not tagged or tackled, I don’t know what footy really is. I enjoy it and I accept the challenge that comes my way and try to smile through it.

“It definitely reminded me of that kind of fresh start when it comes to making new friends and teammates – having to earn the respect of those around you.

“I loved it and embraced the new challenge that is in front of me. Part of the move was pushing my limits and stepping out of my comfort zone, and I feel like I’ve succeeded in that at Essendon.

“I feel like if I like football I play really well. Right now I’m enjoying it and loving it in every way.”

Essendon also have high aspirations and with a win under their belt, a second would put them on course for the finals in a short season.

“The final is definitely on our radar. It’s something we’d like to be separated from very soon. If that’s this year, that’s great,” said Prespakis.

AFLW Broadcast Guide – Round 2

Melbourne vs Tasmanian Kangaroos from North Melbourne

SYDNEY: 5pm live on 7mate and 7plus

MELBOURNE: 5pm live on 7mate and 7plus

BRISBANE: 5pm live on 7mate and 7plus

ADELAIDE: 4.30pm live on 7mate and 7plus

PERTH: 3pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Port Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs

10.30am live ONLY on 7mate and 7plus SA

Richmond vs. Adelaide Crows

12:30pm live ONLY on 7mate and 7plus SA

Fremantle vs. Geelong cats

11am live ONLY on 7mate and 7plus WA

Essendon vs. Carlton (North Port Oval)

SYDNEY: 11 a.m. live on 7plus

MELBOURNE: 11am live on Channel 7 and 7plus

BRISBANE: 11am live on 7plus

ADELAIDE: 10.30am live on 7plus

PERTH: 9am live on 7plus

Collingwood vs. Sydney (Victoria Park)

1.10pm live on Channel 7 and 7plus NSW ONLY

GWS GIANTS vs. Brisbane Lions (Manuka Oval)

3pm live on 7mate and 7plus NSW & QLD ONLY

Hawthorn vs St Kilda (Box Hill)

SYDNEY: 4 p.m. live on 7plus

MELBOURNE: 4pm live on Channel 7 and 7plus

BRISBANE: 4pm live on 7plus

ADELAIDE: 3.30pm live on 7plus

PERTH: 2 p.m. live on 7plus

Gold Coast SUNS vs. West Coast Eagles (Metricon)

BRISBANE: 5.10pm live on 7mate and 7plus

PERTH: 3pm live on Channel 7 and 7plus

New fan shot angle emerges after controversial AFL review

New fan shot angle emerges after controversial AFL review AFLW star Maddy Prespakis opens up about ‘amazing’ Essendon love ahead of ultimate grudge match

James Brien

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