Peta Searle’s advice for Georgia Patrikios: take the game on as much as you can.
For the high-profile draftee, that won’t be a problem.
The 18-year-old may be calm and composed on the exterior, but there’s a fiery and competitive spirit bubbling under the surface.
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It’s her natural instinct to tackle everything head-on with that same intensity, utilising her wicked sidestep, self-assured ball-winning skills and exciting pace to floor her opposition.
“I want to get out there and just show what I can do on the field and play my best,” Patrikios told saints.com.au.
Even though she’s yet to take the field as a Saint, the plaudits and accolades heaped upon the former Calder Cannons captain have come through thick and fast.
Before joining the red, white and black, Patrikios was crowned MVP at the 2019 NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships, where she helped Vic Metro to go through the tournament undefeated.
Her midfield ascendancy was also on full display for the Cannons, seeing her named among the best six out of a possible nine times.
Now in the AFLW, the pick No. 5 was voted as the player most likely to take out the 2020 Rising Star Award by both the league’s coaches and captains.
They’re not the only ones who think highly of the young talent, with the passionate Patrikios family backing her in to make an instant impact.
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And according to the young Saint, you’ll know when a Patrikios is in town.
“They definitely come in numbers,” she said.
Her immediate family used to go to her local matches for Pascoe Vale here and there, but came out in force for all her games for the Cannons, no matter where they were played.
Over 20 members of the Patrikios clan – including parents, cousins, aunties and uncles – jetted off to support her in the Queensland Nationals, while even more packed up the car and drove to Adelaide to watch the State of Origin curtain-raiser.
AFLW 2020 is no different.
“Even for Round 1, I’ve had so many family members – even extended family like cousins of cousins – asking about when the game is and where it is,” Patrikios said.
“I’ve been quick on that making sure they barrack for the Saints.”
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Patrikios will be joined by fellow exciting youngsters Molly McDonald, Olivia Vesely and Tarni White in the Saints’ historic debut match this Sunday at RSEA Park.
While they were all former rivals during their days in the NAB League and various representative competitions, Patrikios is ecstatic they’re now on the same side.
“It’s exciting to get us all together,” Patrikios said.
“I think we’re going to be really strong going forward.”