Smyth makes a name for herself at AFLW Combine

Two weeks out from the 2017 NAB AFL Women’s Draft Combine, Nelson Bay’s Pippa Smyth was set to watch on from home.

But following Ellie Dalgarno-Fixter’s inability to attend, 22-year-old Smyth found herself on the list of players from New South Wales to test.

Having attended the GWS GIANTS AFL Women’s testing day three weeks ago, the GIANTS invited Smyth to Melbourne, to put her through her paces.

“I was so excited [to get the call up],” says Smyth.

“We did trials maybe three weeks ago and then I got a call about two weeks ago, and I just couldn’t believe it. I was just so excited.”

The personal trainer plays for the Nelson Bay Marlins in the Black Diamond Australian Football League, and also trains as a part of the Hunter Coast AFL Academy.

“I’ve played for three years and am a ruck or a forward, but I am happy to play anywhere. I was a defender when I came over from netball, so I enjoy defence as well.”

Despite bringing her overhead marking abilities across from netball, Smyth says she still has room to improve with her skills – an area of her game she concentrated on before heading to Melbourne.

“I did so much training. I asked Libby [Sadler from the GIANTS] what sort of training I had to do and what sort of tests we’d be doing, and I literally did it everyday.

“I practiced my skills heaps because I thought we were going to do skills, but it’s just been fitness. I enjoy the fitness part though.”

In fitness, Smyth excelled. Over six endurance and agility tests conducted during the NAB AFL Women’s Combine, she ranked in the top ten of five events, including the fastest time in the ‘Smartspeed 20m Sprint’ at 3.24 seconds.

Humble in her achievements, Smyth says she is ‘happy’ with how her Combine concluded.

As for the possibility of joining the GWS GIANTS AFL Women’s side in 2018, Smyth has her hand firmly in the air.

“I’d love to. One-hundred percent, all the way.”

Western Sydney’s Haneen Zreika also polled well in the endurance events. In the new Yo-Yo Run, Zreika was the final player in her group left standing, finishing seventh overall – just one level behind Smyth.

Zreika was also one of only four players to stay within the eight-minute mark of the 2km time trial, taking third spot in the coveted event.


20-metre sprint
Pippa Smyth           3.24 seconds

Calista Boyd            3.30
Renee Cowan          3.30
Maddy Guerin          3.32
Loveth Ochayi          3.33
Jessica Allan            3.34
Emma Pittman         3.35
Sophie Abbatangelo  3.35
Ruby Blair                3.36
Jasmyn Hewett         3.39 

Running vertical jump 
Jessica Allan         76cm
Pippa Smyth         65cm
Jasmyn Hewett     60cm
Rachel Ashley       57cm
Tiahna Cochrane   56cm
Darcy Guttridge    56cm
Calista Boyd         55cm
Kate Bartlett        55cm
Renee Cowan       54cm
Daria Bannister    54cm

Ruby Blair                8.495 seconds
Daria Bannister         8.574
Sophie Abbatangelo  8.681
Darcy Guttridge        8.723
Renee Cowan           8.726
Reni Hicks               8.730
Tahni Nestor            8.777
Jasmyn Hewett        8.799
Loveth Ochayi          8.803
Eden Zanker            8.810

Yo-Yo Run
Bridie Kennedy       17.3
Jasmyn Hewett       17.1
Loveth Ochayi         16.8
Ashleigh Riddell       16.6
Sophie Abbatangelo 16.5
Pippa Smyth            16.4
Haneen Zreika         16.3
Courtney Webb        16.3
Ruth Wallace           16.2
Renee Cowan          16.1
Maddy Guerin          16.1

Vertical jump
Jessica Allan        61cm
Jasmyn Hewett    60cm
Renee Cowan      58cm
Pippa Smyth        57cm
Tiahna Cochrane  54cm
Ashleigh Riddell   53cm
Reni Hicks           51cm
Loveth Ochayi      51cm
Tayla McAuliffe    50cm
Maddy Guerin      50cm 

2km time trial
Bridie Kennedy     7min 29sec
Jasmyn Hewett     7min 40sec
Haneen Zreika      7min 51sec
Ashleigh Riddell     7min 54sec
Loveth Ochayi        8min 02sec
Courtney Webb       8min 3sec
Jessica Henning      8min 4sec
Pippa Smyth           8min 5sec
Tiahna Cochrane     8min 9sec
Tahni Nestor          8min 10sec