Lucy in the Sky with Blinders
Lucy McEvoy is an AFLW player. A Carlton player to be precise.
A bluebagger that might have ground curators shaking in their loafers. They might want to upgrade their Bermuda turf protection, as this burgeoning star prepares to rip up the field and take position. Described by sports commentators as a dazzling talent, Lucy McEvoy is a young sportswoman to watch. She is refreshingly open with a keen sense of humour and grin so big you can’t help but grin back- but she is not to be underestimated on the ground. The recent Carlton draft pick plays football with a tenacity that is compelling and fierce.
I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Lucy on the eve of the draft at her home on the Bellarine Peninsula.
K: You were a promising basketballer, when did you know you wanted to swap to footy and when was the choice locked in?
L: I was selected in the first national side in 2016 at 14 years of age. I thought this is cool. I loved it, and it was so much more fun and physical than basketball. I loved the atmosphere and the competition.
K: What do you love most about football?
L: You get to play with your friends, the training is awesome, it’s fun, and the game is full of really good people. They just want to play footy and have fun with the game. I think its all about the culture and the vibe of the team.
K: What’s your favourite position?
L: Midfield, because I have been able to learn so much. But I actually enjoy all of them.
K: The idea of tackling and falling so hard and being physically dominant in competition puts the fear of God into me, what do you love about it?
L: I love the physicality of it, the tackling of it. It’s the only sport you can do it in without being abused. When I started playing footy, it sort of crossed over into basketball! So taking a screamer over a player and trying to stop tackling the players wasn’t working well (big grin inserted- told you she was funny.) Seriously though, pushing your body to its limits to see what you can do and with a team in play is the best.
K: Outside of training, what do you do for fun or relaxation?
L: I walk the dog, Dudley, the German Sheppard cross Jack Russell. (He’s charming and looks baffled ponderers.)
K: Favourite athlète and why?
L: Dustin Martin – he’s so good, you know when he gets the ball he’s going to do something good with it every time.
K: Growing up, was there a particular person you looked up to or looked to for advice with sport?
L: There were a lot of good people, but Brendan Matthews- my Basketball coach from 8 to 16 was brilliant in giving me advice and guiding what I needed to do to improve in general in sport.
K: Is it overwhelming coming into this newly recognised and supported arena or is it exciting, especially Carlton.
L: Exciting. It is so exciting to get in there and see this happening, and it is a little bit surreal because it is so new.
K: What do your family and friends think about it all?
L: I think they’re proud (she’s humble) but everyone is super supportive. I have a great group of mates and good people around me.
K: If you had a choice of travel, where would you love to go?
L: I don’t have the travel bug yet really, but Australia, there is so much to see. I want to see all of it!
K: Fave Comedian?
L: Kevin Hart – he’s hilarious and quick.
K: What do you wish was different about the attitudes toward women in sport and the male dominance aspect of opinion and performance?
L: I think its starting to change, I still feel like if it hasn’t come from a man, it’s not seen as relevant. There’s a little less recognition, but it is changing. I really look up to AFLW pioneer – Susan Alberti, – if you are in that environment, you have a duty to protect it and tell them what you think. This is what she does.
K: Is the women’s competition of a high standard yet in your opinion, given the newness of it all?
L: Oh yeah. The skills and abilities of the women players are really upping the competition. There are some injuries of concern, like ACLs and concussions, but this is changing. Things like running head-on to pick up the ball are stuff boys have been getting taught not to do since they were little. There are motor skills and learned reflexes we are catching up on quickly, and it’s already a high quality game.
K: How did you go when you were younger playing with the boys?
L: The boys on my team were always really good. Sometimes at the start of a game, the other team would throw a bit of banter around about getting beaten by a girl, I wasn’t afraid to say something back. I’d give them a bit of banter back. I pushed, I wasn’t going to be pushed- gained some respect when they could see I could play. I’d go out and smash it, that was always fun to see the look on faces. (She laughs.) But most boys were supportive and inclusive. I am still great mates with many of them today.
K: Does anything really bother you?
L: Most things negative or anything that is water off a duck’s back, I don’t get fussed by much or bothered.
K: Social media-obsessed?
L: (laughs) No. It’s good to see what people are doing, but I am not consumed by it.
K: Treehouse or Cubbyhouse?
L: Cubbyhouse, I think- so I could see everything. That’s a really cool question.
We acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nation, on whose unceded sovereign land we work. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.