ONE DAY, the multi-talented Georgie Cleaver might have to decide between football and netball, but for now, the West Australian star is happy to combine the two.
Cleaver – who has nominated the West Australian portion of the AFLW Draft – plays football with East Fremantle and is a member of the AFLW Academy, and represents both her state and country in under-19 netball.
She missed two under-18 national championship matches as she was in Trinidad and Tobago, winning gold with Australia in the Commonwealth Youth Games.
"I really want to (continue to) do both. I hope I can do both, been talking to people in my support network about it, and they say I love both, so why can't I do both?" Cleaver told AFL.com.au.
"I tried every sport when I was younger, just to see what I loved the most. Footy, netball, did a bit of basketball as well, but I had to pick, and it came down to these two.
"Definitely both sports help each other. Different skills from netball – quick footwork, ball handling, all that comes into footy. Then footy (to netball), it's running, fitness, that comes into netball. Toughness, they say I'm pretty tough at netball cos I play footy, I try not to tackle on the court, but both help each other a lot."
A key forward-second ruck in football and a goaler or wing attack in netball, Cleaver's days this year have been jam-packed, between her sporting and year 12 commitments.
"I have a meeting every few weeks to sort out what my goals are and what games I need to be ready for. I'm pretty busy, most days I'm training and trying to get a good sleep in and eating well, but just organising everything and making sure I'm ready," Cleaver said.
"[Training is] pretty much every night, or morning and night, but I try to have one rest in there, which is good.
"Gym or training is normally at 6am, so wake up at 4.30 or 5am. Then head to the court, normally netball or gym. Do that training, pretty hectic, then have some breaky, have a few meetings, then get to school around 9 o'clock.
"I'm always late to school, but that's okay. Go through my school day, work hard, then normally footy or netball training after school and do some study. Dinner after that, shower, then repeat it again."
The monumental load caught up to the West Coast-supporting Cleaver late last year, when a busy finals schedule across two sports hurt.
"I had a stress reaction in my foot at the start of the year. That took a toll in a couple of games, and didn't start so well for my pre-season, missed out on heaps of training, but that went away (in May), so back into having no trouble at all," Cleaver said.
"It was a load issue. At the back-end of last year, netball and footy were pretty high, just because of finals and stuff, it was back-to-back games. But had a bit of a break, which helped a lot."
Cleaver's older brother, Jack, trialled with Essendon for a supplemental selection period contract ahead of the 2023 season, but returned home to see out his year with the Sharks.
"I started playing footy when I was about eight in Auskick, in WA. I just followed my brother's footsteps," she said.
"I had to stop playing for a bit, because women's didn't have a team, then I started again back (with Rossmoyne junior football club) when I went to school in year five, then continued to play from there.
"It's so good having my brother back home. We both love footy and aspire to play AFL and AFLW, so it's good to have him around and we can work on our skills together.
"We have a pretty big backyard, so go for a kick out there, or go down to the park and take the dog and have a kick."