Balancing school and a social life is tough for any teenager, but Adelaide’s newest recruit Zoe Prowse has an added challenge - a pre-season at football’s highest level. 

Prowse, who turned 18 in July, was selected at pick No. 17 in the 2021 AFLW Draft. 

The exciting Sturt Football Club product is now entering her first AFLW pre-season and said nothing quite prepared her for the intensity of elite footy. 

“The step-up from SANFL has been the most obvious thing that’s different. It’s kind of hard to explain but it’s been a really good experience to be part of,” Prowse said. 

“Obviously I’m doing a lot more now, gym three times a week on top of trainings is pretty hard, but I’m getting there.

“It’s been tough, the recovery has become so much more important - I actually need to do it now.”

Although Prowse confessed not everyone in the family was quite so supportive of said recovery. 

“(I usually do) just an ice bath or the hot and cold showers, which is easier if I’m at home… but if I do that then mum and dad yell at me for using all the water,” she joked. 

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AFLW Training Returns

AFLW first preseason session at Norwood Oval.

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The competitive utility, who earned All Australian selection as a ruck at the Under-19 AFLW Championships in 2021, said she had been welcomed with open arms into the Crows’ side. 

“(The girls) have been extremely welcoming,” she said. 

“I was obviously very nervous at the start but they were all really good about checking in.

“Quite a few of (the older players) have come up and messaged me or spoken to me at training.”

The 18-year-old said watching experienced players go to work was the most inspiring part of her journey so far. 

"I can’t wait to get to know all the girls more and see where we end up"

“It comes back to that step-up of how much harder it is, but the level (of training) and the amount of effort that everyone puts in.... seeing everyone’s motivation is the most surprising thing,” she said. 

“Already a lot of the coaches have been telling me what I need to improve on or what I’m doing well, they’ve been really good at helping me get to the level I need to be at.”

While it’s Prowse’s dream to play on the big stage, no matter if and when she made her debut, she was just grateful to be along for the ride. 

“I think (I’m most excited for) being able to watch the team develop. It’s only been a few weeks but I can’t wait to get to know all the girls more and see where we end up,” she said.