Mattea Breed after being drafted by Hawthorn. Picture: Hawthorn FC
IT TOOK a year’s break from football and simply 4 games in two seasons for Mattea Breed to be drafted by Hawthorn in the 2023 AFLW supplementary draft.
Selected by Hawthorn with the fourth pick in April, it was a second Breed might by no means have dreamed of after stepping away from soccer in 2021.
Breed grew up in Darwin and commenced her football journey at 15, taking part in for the Darwin Buffaloes before transferring to Adelaide in 2020 to join SANFLW side Norwood and give herself the best alternative to pursue football professionally.
However soon after the move, Breed discovered her spark for the game had been misplaced, in no small part due to a tumultuous and COVID-impacted season.
“I just wasn’t really enjoying it and it was most likely just the best choice for me at the time,” she said of her decision to step away from the sport after a handful of matches in 2021.
After a 12 months on the sidelines, the useful utility then determined to re-enter the football world via an Adelaide novice league in 2022, suiting up for the Payneham Norwood Union Falcons.
The spark started to flicker as soon as again, leading Breed to sign with North Adelaide in the SANFLW with hopes of once once more pursuing an AFLW profession.
Just four games later, she was on the radar of multiple AFLW golf equipment.
Breed was unaware that her dream of becoming an AFLW player was a real chance of coming true, leaving a chat with Adelaide recruiters considering she would be a chance in next year’s draft, not the upcoming one.
“I pretty much got (the idea that) you’re not plan A, but you’re definitely plan B or C. I obviously left that chat not feeling too assured,” she stated.
“With not having played at a high degree earlier than I returned to North (Adelaide), I kind of wasn’t actually expecting to be [drafted].”
Breed then acquired a call from Hawthorn record manger, Mitch Cashion, just days out from the draft in April.
“I spoke with Mitch again on the morning of the draft day and he type of mentioned ‘good luck, I can’t really say how issues are going to go, however just keep doing what you’re doing’,” she stated.
“I type of took that as ‘maybe subsequent yr or just keep attempting’.”
A related draft day call from the Hawks’ head coach Bec Goddard gave Breed similar messages.
“I was sort of like oh, that’s a little bit of a disgrace. I didn’t really leave both of the conversations feeling too confident,” she said.
Breed then carried on her day as ordinary, heading to the North Adelaide fitness center for a session with her energy and conditioning coach, placing the draft on the health club tv within the background.
The idea of having her identify known as out didn’t even cross the 21-year-old’s mind.
“We had been talking about it for somewhat bit after which straight up after that pretty much, my name popped up as choose No.4 – it was an enormous surprise!” Breed stated.
“I ended up calling my dad and he’d been watching the draft, but I hadn’t informed (her parents) anything, I sort of kept it to myself. He’d been watching and he was already bawling.”
Her mum, who wasn’t tuning in, was Breed’s subsequent phone call.
“She was walking along the street and she just stopped useless in her tracks and began bawling her eyes out,” Breed said.
“It was plenty of emotion. It was loopy, however it was really cool. I in all probability wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, it was kind of good to not likely count on it. And then it was a bonus to see my identify pop up it was identical to, oh cool!”
Mattea Breed chases Sinead Goldrick throughout a practice match between Melbourne and Hawthorn on August 19, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos
The intense football bubble that surrounds Melbourne was something that Breed noticed quite rapidly after the move.
“I had a run-in the other day at my local Bunnings in Hawthorn the place a man was like ‘oh do you play with the Hawthorn women’s team?’ And that was actually cool,” Breed laughed.
The aspiring policewoman has began her pre-season at Waverley Park as a crafty ahead after having played virtually every place all through her football career.
“I would simply like to play at this stage,” Breed stated.
Breed is feeling well at residence with the brown and gold and has even been offered a job because the Indigenous packages coordinator on the membership.
“It’s positively a giant, massive move and really busy, but super rewarding. And I’ve received a extremely supportive community of people within work itself and the neighborhood division, but in addition inside the footy division as well. So I’m really lucky.”