Molly O'Hehir handballs during the Marsh AFLW Academy's clash against the U23 All Stars on April 6, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

TOP draft prospect Molly O'Hehir has two sides to her personality.

The one that is part of her everyday life that's kind and generous. And the one that comes out on the footy field, hyper competitive and thriving on the physicality.


"I just love tackling, in a nice way," O'Hehir told with a wide, warm smile on her face.

"I feel I'm quite physical on the field. It just revs me up a bit. It makes me play better when I lay a good tackle in the first few minutes. I try and do something physical in the opening minutes of a game and it gets me ramped up for the rest of the game."

Molly O'Hehir and Olivia Morris compete for the ball during the Marsh AFLW Academy's clash against the U23 All Stars on April 6, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

O'Hehir has developed into an impressive half-back, who can also slide up onto the wing. Tall, fast, and with a high footy IQ, she has been likened to Fremantle's Ebony Antonio.

This year, however, she has spent her time in the WAFLW playing for South Fremantle as an inside midfielder. Enjoying being in the thick of it, for O'Hehir it's about building up her versatility ahead of the coming draft.

"It's to show that I can play in other areas other than just across that half-back line," O'Hehir said.

"Obviously I do really enjoy it as well, being around the ball and the physical side of the midfield is so fun. I didn't realise how much more physical it can be."

Part of this year's Marsh AFLW Academy, O'Hehir captained the talented side in last week's match against the U23 All Stars. Spending the bulk of the game in her natural position of half-back and on the wing, her cleanliness with the footy and attacking mindset rose to the fore.

O'Hehir finished with nine disposals, three inside 50s and a goal in the Academy's commanding win.

Molly O'Hehir during the warm-up before the 2023 AFL National Championships U18 Girls match between Western Australia and Victoria Country. Picture: AFL Photos

Her time with the Academy this year has been a new challenge for the West Australian, who is enjoying spending time with players her own age, but also hyper aware that they are all essentially competing for the same thing – to be drafted come year's end.

"There probably is a bit of friendly fire between everyone. It probably just comes naturally because of the position we're in, but everyone obviously wants the same thing," O'Hehir said.

"Obviously everyone's still friends, and everyone wants the best for each other, but I think there probably is a bit of friendly competition. It's good, it's friendly."

Her enthusiasm toward the tough side of footy belies O'Hehir's gentle nature. Currently studying early childhood teaching at university, she is keen to pursue both teaching and footy in the coming years.

"It's always been a passion of mine; I love working with children. It's just so fun. They're so interesting with their little personalities and characters. You learn a lot from them," O'Hehir said.

"It's good to have something outside of footy as well. That's a passion of mine, which I would also get to do as a job."

Molly O'Hehir in action for Western Australia during the AFL National Championships U18 Girls match against Victoria Country. Picture: James Worsfold/AFL Photos

And while being drafted and forging a career in early childhood education are major goals O'Hehir is working hard toward, there is another goal sitting in the back of her mind – officially being 180cm tall.

"We measured last week, and I was 179.7cm," O'Hehir said with a bashful laugh.

"Every time I go to state training, I go into the physio straight away and get measured… I tried to do some stretches before."

But whether she grows that extra three millimetres in the coming months or not, one thing is sure, O'Hehir will be high on AFLW recruiters' priority lists come December.