AFL achievements recognised in draft selection

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ben Robinson (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Melbourne

Topic(s): Australian Rules Football

Able Seaman Electronic Warfare Rhiannon Metcalfe (photo: Unknown)
Able Seaman Electronic Warfare Rhiannon Metcalfe

High achieving Navy sportswoman Able Seaman Electronic Warfare Rhiannon Metcalfe made both Navy and AFL history when she was drafted by the Adelaide Crows Women’s Team on 18 October. 

Able Seaman Metcalfe was selection number 74 in the draft for the inaugural AFL Women’s season - the first and only Navy representative to date.

As a relative newcomer to the game, she only started playing Aussie Rules football in 2015 and in the same year was voted as the ‘Best First Year Player’. 

Able Seaman Metcalfe is a Navy Women’s team representative, and in her first year went on to play for the Australian Defence Force All Stars against a Victorian representative side, where they won the Anzac Day clash in Melbourne. 

At the completion of the 2015 Defence Aussie Rules football season she then joined Sydney AFL club, the Western Wolves. 

Able Seaman Metcalfe said that she has had a really exciting start to her AFL career. 

“In only my second year of football with Navy I was selected as part of the leadership group and was also voted navy’s ‘Most Valuable Player’. 

“To be selected to play at such an elite level after such a short career is a huge honour," Able Seaman Metcalf said. 

“I am looking forward to playing with the Adelaide Crows next season.” 

Able Seaman Metcalfe also plays locally for the Gungahlin Jets in Canberra, following a posting to Headquarters Joint Operations Command at the start of 2016. The Jets won the Division 1 Grand Final this year. 

This year Able Seaman Metcalfe was also selected in the Canberra representative side to play against Sydney, where she received ‘Best on Ground’ on debut. 

In her Navy role, Able Seaman Metcalfe is an Electronic Warfare sailor who is responsible for using sensitive computerised electronic receivers that can detect, classify, identify, locate and record emissions in the ship’s vicinity. More often than not, the Electronic Warfare sailor will be the first to detect a threat to the ship, and will be involved in defeating that threat throughout the entire engagement cycle, including the employment of counter measures. 

Captain Jeff Goedecke, President of the Royal Australian Navy Football Association said everyone involved with Navy footy was very proud of Rhiannon who has made a fantastic impact, both on and off the field, in just a short time. 

"Her history-making selection as part of the inaugural Women’s AFL draft is a great reflection on her personally and of the fitness and professionalism of the women and men of the Australian Defence Force, and we look forward to seeing her progress at the highest level of the sport."

"Rhiannon and her three army counterparts who were also successful in the draft represent a great example on how the game has grown within the Australian Defence Force, primarily through the annual Defence Australian Rules national carnival competed in Melbourne each year," Captain Goedecke said. 

"Her success and exposure to elite sport will help the growth of Women’s AFL both in Defence and nationally, and 2016 heralds the beginning of a very exciting chapter in women’s footy."

Brigadier Matthew Hall, Chairman of Australian Defence Force Australian Rules Football, said that Able Seaman Metcalfe's selection was a reflection of the rapid growth and quality of women's Aussie Rules football in the Defence Force.

"It's an exciting time to have four of our women selected to play at the highest level of competition possible. As an elite sportsperson, Able Seaman Metcalfe will be provided maximum support to enable her participation at the pinnacle of women's AFL. We look forward to seeing her represent the Adelaide Crows in 2017."