Ellie McKenzie has been selected by Richmond with pick one in the 2020 NAB AFL Women’s Draft.
The 17-year-old joins Richmond on the back of standout performances playing for the Northern Knights across a number of years, as well as for Victoria Metro in the 2019 NAB AFLW Under-18 National Championships.
At 176cm, McKenzie is a powerful athlete that can play as a forward or midfielder. She has explosive speed, is an excellent stoppage player, and has a long penetrating left-foot kick.
McKenzie was a standout in the Knights’ 2019 NAB League Girls premiership team as a bottom-age player, playing alongside now Richmond teammate Sarah Sansonetti.
The exciting youngster had also made a prolific start to the 2020 campaign for the Knights, averaging 19 disposals, 4.7 inside 50s and five marks before the season was shut down due to COVID-19.
Richmond Head of Women’s Football, Kate Sheahan said McKenzie’s ball use, versatility and aggression stood out most to the Tigers’ recruiting team.
“She is just a beautiful kick of the football and a fantastic user of the ball,” she said.
“Her versatility and ability to run through the midfield is pretty handy, and she’s quite aggressive, we really like that.
“She is the sort of player we are looking for – someone that is not afraid to get their hands dirty but then on transition can run really hard and damage the opposition.
“There have only been the three games this year and she played well in all of them, but she is someone that has been setting the junior footy world alight for a long time and lots of people are aware of Ellie and her skill.”
McKenzie was first introduced to Richmond back in 2017 when she attended a Come and Try Day at the Swinburne Centre as a talented 14-year-old from the Fitzroy Junior Football Club.
“I remember the look in her eye that day and the way she observed everything and really took in her surroundings and the environment,” Sheahan said.
“She is a really nice kid who wants to work hard, wants to be the best; is a competitive beast which we love, and is someone that wants to be at our football club.
“You want to know people want to come to your club and we think she will fit in really well here with the players we already have and their collective attitude towards improvement, hard work and just getting better.
“We are pumped and just can’t wait to start working with her.”