In August 2014 when Canada’s Northern Lights lifted the International Cup as the best Women’s Football nation outside of Australia, Valérie Moreau had never heard of Australian Football. 

Fast forward two years and Moreau’s rapid rise in the sport makes it easy to see why she has earned the nickname “Rocket”. In 2015, she earned Rookie of the Year, Leading Goal Kicker and Women’s Best & Fairest in the AFL Quebec league – the same league that produced Aimee Legault, Captain of the World team during the International Cup in 2014 and the best female footballer outside of Australia. 

Moreau landed in Melbourne on November 1, 2016 and has been training with the AFL Victoria Women’s academy over the past month. It was a bold step to move halfway around the world to train and compete with the best footballers in the sport. However, the move paid off, with Moreau being selected, from 100 academy players, as one of 26 to suit up on Friday night (Dec 16th) to play against inaugural AFL Women’s team, the Collingwood Magpies. 

The upcoming game should have been a watershed moment for both Canadian and International Footy, with Moreau, lining up against fellow Canadian Kendra Heil. Heil was drafted by Collingwood in the AFL Women’s draft just three weeks ago, the first Internationally born and developed player in the league. Cruelly, Heil suffered an ACL injury, her third, during the week in an innocuous training mishap, ending her dreams of playing in the inaugural season. 

With Legault coming back from an ACL injury and unable to be drafted as many experts had tipped and Heil’s first AFL season also derailed through injury, Moreau’s selection is vindication of the depth of Australian Football in Canada. 

First bounce is 7:00 pm Friday Dec 16th in Melbourne at the Holden Centre (3:00 am EST), and it will give yet another Canadian a chance to compete with the best in the world.


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