AN IDOL will become a rival when Sydney’s emerging ruck Ally Morphett faces Carlton stalwart Breann Moody on Friday.
Morphett is already enjoying a breakout season that started with an AFLW Rising Star nomination but could now stake a claim for reigning All-Australian ruck Moody’s crown when they clash at Ikon Park.
The 19-year-old’s rapid rise is little surprise to Swans coach Scott Gowans but others are also taking notice with West Coast coach Michael Prior even declaring Morphett as “the best ruck in the competition” after she dismantled the Eagles last week.
The humble Morphett was quick to brush aside the high praise and turn her focus toward a challenge she has looked forward to since the pre-season.
"I've got a big mission coming up with Breann Moody. I'll do my homework on her but won't get sucked into it too much, and recognise my own weapons and how I can beat her,” Morphett told AFL.com.au.
"We had a practice match against Carlton before the season started, and I guess you can say I was a bit nervous going up against her because she's been like an idol of mine.
"I've always based my game around her, watched her closely, and thought that we played very similar roles and are very alike.
"But I think that I'm going well, so I'm going in with pure confidence.”
The budding Swans star will come up against a Blues ruck partnership that is increasingly led by Jess Good as well as dual All-Australian Moody.
As the Swans’ clear No.1 ruck Morphett leads the competition with 135 hitouts this season, with Good next best on 106 and Moody further down the list with 68.
While the Blues’ one-two punch could pose a threat to the Swans, Morphett will turn to her own strengths to match it with the duo across four quarters.
"I talk a lot about my fitness and how I've run a lot to be where I am,” Morphett said.
"Knowing that I've done so much hard work, if I'm not having a great day then I just know that I can go back to running around and using my fitness that I've worked so hard for.
"The game is just so much better and so much more fun when you're fit.”
It is when the ball hits the ground that Morphett is having her greatest influence.
The 188cm ruck is among the top clearance-winners with 28 this season only topped by gun onballers Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne), Charlie Rowbottom (Gold Coast), Monique Conti (Richmond) and Brianna Davey (Collingwood).
Morphett’s robust approach around stoppages has been a key to the Swans building a 2-2 record after their winless debut season, as well as the addition of Chloe Molloy to a young midfield.
"Chloe is honestly the best person to play with. She's very influential to me,” Morphett said.
"She tells me where she needs me to be, and when she needs something from me, I just have to deliver.
"We work really well together, and with Laura Gardiner, Sofia Hurley and Montana Ham coming through as well, we are building a really good midfield.”