21/04/2024

Elise O'Dea, Breann Moody and Jess Dal Pos all play their 50th AFLW game this weekend. (Photo: AFL Women's)

After Darcy Vescio’s 50th in Round 1, Carlton will have three more AFLW players hit the milestone on Sunday against Port Adelaide.

Breann Moody, Elise O’Dea and Jess Dal Pos will all share the special occasion, after three very different journeys to the Carlton Football Club.

All three are All-Australians, and have been pillars of the competition since the very beginning.

As more and more players continue to reach the milestone after Ally Anderson, Emily Bates and Ebony Marinoff became the first last season, Carlton coach Daniel Harford believes its adding a greater sense of recognition to the AFLW.

“It’s another stage of the evolution of the competition,” he told media on Tuesday.

“We’re getting the progress, we’re getting through the years, it’s legitimate and becoming what we want it to be.”

The Inner Sanctum has taken a look at the careers so far of the Blues’ new 50-gamers.

Breann Moody

Drafted with pick 67 in the inaugural AFLW draft, Breann Moody is one of only four Blues who played in the first AFLW game that remain at Ikon Park.

She was immediately part of a ruck pairing alongside now Magpie Alison Downie, learning her craft as a fresh-faced 19-year-old.

Moody never quite shone, but was consistent, and played every game in her first AFLW campaign. She kicked her first goal in the Round 5 battle with the Dockers.

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In 2018, Moody was recognised with a Round 5 Rising Star nomination, alongside the likes of Chloe Molloy, Libby Birch, Bonnie Toogood, and Monique Conti.

She would play on the big stage for the first time in 2019 in the losing grand final against Adelaide, but failed to make much of an impact against veteran Jess Foley and a stingy defence.

Since then, she’s only missed one game due to COVID protocols in season six, and earned her maiden All-Australian selection in 2021.

In season seven, Moody is in the form of her career, and after two rounds is well and truly in the running for AA selection once again.

“Bre Moody’s an OG at the Baggers, and we’re rapt with her performance so far this season,” Harford said.

“The last couple of seasons have been great for her to develop her progress and talent at the Carlton Footy Club. 50 games for an OG is a pretty cool thing.”

Moody and Vescio are the only inaugural Blues still at the club to play 50 games. Gab Pound and Kerryn Peterson can also both hit the milestone in Round 8 if they play every game.

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Elise O’Dea

O’Dea’s name is one that goes back to the legendary Darebin Falcons team of the VWFL, which she was a part of.

Canberra-born, O’Dea played senior football in the nation’s capital for the Belconnen Magpies. She earned selection in the ACT representative four times and was in the 2011 All-Australian team.

Eventually, she moved to Melbourne to join the Falcons, where she then also represented the Victorian state team twice.

The 30-year-old was a part of the exhibition games ahead of the formation of the league, before joining Melbourne with its first ever AFLW draft pick.

O’Dea immediately starred as one of the league’s best outside midfielders, earning selection in the first two AFLW All-Australian teams.

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She would also continue to play for Darebin in the VFLW, where she was a part of the 2017 premiership team.

Eventually becoming co-captain of the Demons before moving to the Blues, Harford praised the leadership she’s added since her arrival.

“Elise O’Dea has been a really popular member of this crew since she came across from the Dees,” the coach said.

“Two time All-Australian, vice-captain as well with us through the journey. A great leader and really good energy at the footy club.

“I think she’s a bit of an AFLW icon ‘June’, not only for what she’s done for this competition but for the VWFL as well back in the old days.

“She’s a football name I reckon in this town, and probably across the nation.”

After this weekend, O’Dea will have played 28 games with Melbourne, and 22 with Carlton.

Jess Dal Pos

Dal Pos’ career before the AFLW, just like O’Dea’s, is littered with success and accolades at the Darebin Falcons.

She was a key part of the midfield that won flag after flag in the VWFL, and was a Victorian state representative five times.

Equally important to her career, and as most involved with her in the football world in any capacity will tell you, is what she adds to any environment off-field.

Dal Pos is a two-time youth premiership coach with the Falcons, with a football brain unlike many others in the league.

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After playing in the exhibition games for both Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs, Dal Pos made the decision to make the move up to Sydney to start her AFLW journey.

She was taken by GWS as a priority selection, and became a mainstay of Alan McConnell’s 21. In her time with the Giants, she played 37 games – every game possible.

After a stellar inaugural campaign where she played both across the back pocket and in the midfield, Dal Pos earned All-Australian selection on the bench.

During her time in the AFLW, she’s played nearly every role possible. Wing, half forward, inside midfield, small defender, she’s done it all.

Dal Pos was a part of the losing semi-final in 2020, playing her last season at GWS in 2021 before making the move to Carlton.

Named as co-vice-captain this season, Harford couldn’t be happier with what Dal Pos has brought to the club.

“Jess Dal Pos, a bit like June, has been doing great things in women’s footy for many, many years,” he said.

“To have her as a part of our program, part of our team and to help lead this group has been a real joy.

“Jess has thrown herself into this program since she came down from the Giants, and we’ve loved every minute of her contribution to the team. She’s such a versatile player.”

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