Former No.1 pick Isabel Huntington is starting to find her feet at AFLW level and previous Sandringham Dragons Talent Manager, Ryan O’Connor, believes there’s more improvement to come. Alongside GWS Giants’ Tait Mackrill, Huntington was the round six nomination for the 2020 AFLW Rising Star award.
School captain, two knee reconstructions, a broken leg, and now an AFLW Rising Star nomination.
All by the age of 21.
The journey of Isabel Huntington has thus far reflected that of a whirlwind, but the impressive Bulldog is beginning to show why she was taken with the first pick of the 2017 draft.
And according to Ryan O’Connor, former Sandringham Dragons Talent Manager, Huntington’s resilience is multifaceted.
“I think if someone’s got the capability, academic aptitude, and really good character, that all ties together with a really good work ethic to mean she can come out the other side of what might stop other people,” O’Connor explained.
“There’s a drive to perform and be one of the best.”
Well known for her academic talent off the field, where she studies a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne, O’Connor also highlighted the newly-adapted defenders’s ability to pick-up new football skills.
“In some ways, she flows,” he said.
“Some players are a little bit stilted going from one skill to the other, but Izzy seems to glide and flow.”
The Huntington name had become a notable one at the Dragons, with both older brothers having played themselves- and it’s how ‘Izzy’ first appeared on Sandringham’s radar.
“Probably when her brothers were coming through, Lachie and Ferg, we heard about this other Huntington,” O’Connor reflected.
“We heard about this girl that was doing amazing things.”
Also a member of the Bulldogs’ leadership group, O’Connor suggested leading has always been a strong feature of her game.
“She’s prepared to get in there and back someone up or to say a few words, even if they’re hard words to get someone on the move, and that’s all leadership,” he said.
Huntington had 14 kicks to go with six marks and two tackles on Sunday afternoon to earn her nomination, as the Dogs went down to the undefeated Fremantle.