A tale of two Allys

Ally Morphett and Ally Dallaway have each played every game of the AFLW season for 2022. But that is where their similarities end.

The second tallest player and the shortest player on the GIANTS’ list have followed vastly different paths to elite football. Now team mates, they share the same goal: be their best and taste team success.


Life before AFLW

Dallaway (or Aldi as she’s known around the club) was recruited to the GIANTS in October after Isadora McLeay (another top-up player listed after Emily Goodsir’s pregnancy ruled her out of the season) suffered a knee injury.

She grew up playing a range of sports including touch and netball, but it was in Year 12 when she joined the East Coast Eagles in its inaugural women’s program. The 22-year-old has been there ever since improving her game to the point where she’s now a fixture in the GIANTS’ midfield.

Dallaway is one of the GIANTS’ smallest players, standing at 164 centimetres.

In contrast to Aldi, 18-year-old Morphett (known as Morph) is the GIANTS’ second tallest player (188 centimetres) and seems to have been destined for AFLW stardom from an early age.

Hailing from Gumly Gumly (east of Wagga Wagga), her first passion was horse riding, until she began dominating school footy, gaining representative selections at every turn.

Her talents led her to play for the Murray Bushrangers in the NAB League, seeing her and her family often waking up at 3am on Saturday to drive six hours each way to a game, not returning until 2am on the Sunday.

But she didn’t stop there. “During the off season of the NAB League I’d play in the Canberra comp. I was travelling 10 hours a week or more to play games and train,” Morphett said. “It was a massive roller coaster ride for me and my family.”

Morphett’s commitment resulted in her being drafted with the GIANTS’ first selection in the 2021 draft.


Hitting the big time

Dallaway and Morphett shared their Round 1 debut and both noticed the speed and physicality of the elite game.

Morphett told the Play On podcast: “It didn’t really look that fast when you’re not on the field and you’re just watching, but then you get on there and you’re like ‘holy moly’. I remember when I first touched the ball, I picked it up and it was like BANG someone had already tackled me.”

Dallaway echoed the sentiment on the podcast, saying: “You can’t really catch yourself thinking about any mistakes, you just have to move on.”

Both players were fortunate to experience a win in their first match. Although Ryan O’Keefe reminded Play On listeners that Round 1 is as important as the others, Dallaway’s emotion-charged rendition of Big Big Sound suggests otherwise.

“I was singing so hard and so loud that I don’t think some of the words made sense,” Dallaway said on her first time singing the club song. “I didn’t breathe the whole time.”


Listen to the Play On podcast in the player below, on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.