VFLW – Lauren Costello

You won’t find Lauren Costello’s name in the upper reaches of Box Hill’s VFL Women’s possession winners. She’s yet to kick a goal in 2017 and she’s not a highlight reel specky machine.

Yet the wiry defender has come to embody her team’s determination to succeed. Costello is the player who will commit herself to a spoil, a tackle, a shepherd, any sort of one-percenter to help her side.

Costello joined Box Hill after the Hawks assumed the VFLW licence of the Knox Falcons. She made her debut in Round 3 and has been a fixture ever since.

“I think it probably comes naturally to me,” reflects Costello on her selfless style of play. “If I see the ball it’s not always my natural instinct to attack, I might think to shepherd if someone’s in a better position.

“Box Hill has developed it and I’ve always had the want to play like that,” says Costello. “It’s what we celebrate in the backline, if we can create a stoppage then that’s a win for us. We don’t really celebrate individual efforts but if the backline has held its structures really well, then we’ll celebrate that.”

Costello’s commitment to her line and her team is just what coach Patrick Hill ordered.

“With any backline, you really need to attack off the half-back flank but at the same time you need people who just really want to defend as well. Lauren plays a really important part for us as a really strong defender.”

Hill also points to the off-field influence that Costello has had as she sets an example for her young side.

“She may only get 10 kicks for the game but she uses all 10 really well. She’s as good a one-on-one player as we’ve got, very brave, can defend high up the ground, will listen to every word that’s said to her and go out and executes it, very professional in how she goes about preparing herself for games.”

Costello will nominate for the AFLW draft in October. Any club in want of players who commit themselves to the team over any personal gain would do well to have a very serious look at the 27-year old Hawk.

Photo: Kadek Thatcher Photography

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