SHE’S been a favourite from the south for a while now, but Nikki Gore is still excited after being taken with Adelaide’s first pick in the 2018 AFLW draft.
“It’s an awesome experience,” she said. “I can’t wait to get started for the Crows.”
Like most up and coming players, Gore played in the local boys competition, but a soon as an opportunity finally opened up for girls, she grabbed it. Last year, Gore entered the South Australian National Football League Women’s (SANFLW) competition, playing for South Adelaide. This year, the Panthers won the premiership, but the midfielder’s credentials don’t stop there. Gore had the privilege of being a part of the very first NT Thunder women’s team, made the AFL Women’s Under 18 All-Australian squad for 2018, and was also selected in the SANFLW Team of the Year as ruck-rover.
Gore averaged 19.5 disposals in the SANFLW, which was the highest in the league. With the likes of Angela Foley, Chelsea Randall and Erin Phillips, the Adelaide Crows have bolstered their already impressive midfield to new heights. The only thing more impressive for Gore was when Randall called out her name, and handed Gore her jumper.
“Getting Chelsea Randall out there today to present me was incredible,” she said. “I can’t wait to get alongside them, and get to know some of the other girls, and work with some of the new draftees as well.”
Gore has been a passionate Crows supporter, but when asked if she had any intention of seeking opportunities interstate, she confirmed her passion was staying in her home state.
“My heart was stuck with South Australia,” she said. “I’d like to stay at home and all the girls have been really welcoming. It’s going to be awesome to be playing in my home state, with all the family, and friends supporting.”
Gore, as well as fellow draftee Katelyn Rosenzweig, have an advantage that few other players have. The young Crows have trained alongside Adelaide premiership players in the South Australian academy as well as play with them during their time at NT Thunder. Gore is happy to carry that experience into the 2019 AFLW season.
“I’ve trained on with the Crows for a few years,” she said. “It’s going to be pretty good to be a part of that team now, and be alongside some really great players, (I) can’t wait for the experience.”
The Crows are poised to mount a comeback to redeem themselves on their previous season, which was battered by injury. They have already suffered by the departures of Ruth Wallace, and Jess Allan, but perhaps a shot of young talent may turn the tide.