Maddy Brancatisano running out onto Punt Road Photo- Richmond FC

Richmond midfielder Maddy Brancatisano speaks on the thrill of AFLW as she has started to establish herself at AFLW level and is a key part of the Tigers engine room.

Richmond Tigers young gun Maddy Brancatisano has become a vital part of Richmond’s midfield ever since the club’s introduction into AFLW in 2020.

The Inner Sanctum spoke with Brancatisano about her pathway to AFLW, draft day, and her first experience at AFLW level.

Like most AFLW players, Brancatisano didn’t start football until Under 14’s, prior to that playing Basketball.

“Football for me started in U16’s, just at Laurimar Football Club,” Brancatisano told The Inner Sanctum

“I was originally a basketballer, the local football team needed a few numbers and mum was like ‘just do it, and I was like ‘I’m not very keen but I went to training and sounds a bit cliché but loved it from there.”

Brancatisano was drafted to the Melbourne Football Club with pick 18 in the 2018 draft. She was one of the many hopefuls that were invited to the draft on the day.

“It was pretty nerve-racking” she said.

“I was invited to the draft, so I went with my family and a couple of friends, it was a pretty nervous wait but when my name was called out it was such a relief.”

Brancatisano didn’t a game for the Demons in her year at the club, but at the end of the 2019 season with four expansion teams coming into the competition the Richmond Football Club came knocking.

“I think it was the people, the facilities and the opportunities that they were presenting to me.

“When I went to the club and had a chat with them all it was just like a great environment and people that I wanted to be around that could help me with my football.

” it was like I just couldn’t say no, it was that good of an opportunity.”

Maddy Brancatisano in the Yellow and Black. Photo: Richmond FC

Brancatisano was one of the 21 players to be a part of Richmond’s AFLW debut against Carlton at Ikon Park. Not only was it the clubs’ debut, but it was her ownAFLW debut.

“Oh it was so cool, it was just so exciting for so many girls.

” It was the first time anyone had put on the jumper for Richmond in the womens. There were also so many of us debuting for our first games it was just a massive thrill,” she said.

“Running out with those girls like Katie (Brennan) and Mon (Monique Conti) who had played before they made it so much more calming than we were expecting.

” It was such an awesome opportunity and having Balmey (Neil Balme) and everyone like that in the rooms too, so surreal.”

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It was a long time coming for Richmond to get its first win at AFLW level but for Brancatisano and the Tigers, it was worth the wait.

“It was worth the wait beating Geelong this year was just a thrill, everyone was so ecstatic in the rooms.”

“It was such a long build-up making the trip down the highway. I went down earlier in the day with Ellie McKenzie and we just hung out.

“We were all pretty excited to play , playing down there it’s such a great ground, It was such a great serenity.

“It so exciting to get the win then we all had to make the trek back which was a bit strange on a Friday night but yeah it was bloody awesome.”

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