Berry Ripe for Rising Star Pick
DEANNA Berry made history on Tuesday when she was awarded one of two AFL Women’s Rising Star nominations for Round 7.
Calder Cannons have a proud history in the award, which was won by key defender Daniel Talia in 2012.
Players such as Brandon Ellis, Jackson Trengove and Peter Wright have graduated from Calder’s development system and been awarded with Rising Star nominations early in their careers.
However Berry will hold the title as the first AFLW draftee to progress from the Cannons' ranks to be recognised as a Rising Star.
The 19-year-old, who was snapped up by Melbourne with pick No.9 in last year's AFL Women’s Draft, was electric in the Demons’ 54-point win over Fremantle.
Berry finished with 11 disposals, two goals and three marks in her standout performance in the red and blue.
Despite her best efforts, Melbourne missed out on a grand final berth when Adelaide booked second spot on the ladder with a 24-point win against Collingwood.
“It was a good way to end the season,” Berry said.
“We thought with how we played on the weekend, we had high hopes that Collingwood would get over the top (of Adelaide).
“But we were also very happy with how the journey ended and how well we combined as team and were able to play that footy.
“We know there’s going to be a big, bright future at Melbourne next year.”
Berry played her junior football with Northern Football League club Mernda and St Damians before moving to Victorian Women’s Football League side Montmorency.
She will spend the remainder of 2017 playing in the VFL Women’s competition with Melbourne Uni alongside Calder Cannons’ TAC Cup Girls coach Alicia Eva.
Berry, who captained Calder’s Youth Girls Academy in 2016, said the addition of a TAC Cup Girls competition had been a significant step for the development of women’s football.
“I might try and head out there at some stage, knowing they are only at Craigieburn for most of their games,” she said.
“I’ll head out there, have a bit of a (look) and see how much they have done over the year.
“Getting a lot more girls to play footy, I think it’s exciting knowing they have got a TAC Cup level now.”
Calder Cannons’ TAC Cup Girls will be out to back up their thumping Round 1 win over Gippsland Power when they host Eastern Ranges on Friday night at Rams Arena from 6pm.