Congratulations to 18-year-old Greek Australian girls Nicola Xenos and Georgia Patrikios, who have been drafted in the AFL Women’s League, joining Melbourne’s St Kilda Football Club.
Nicola Xenos a former basketballer, has been playing football for seven years and competed for the Oakleigh Chargers, Collingwood VFLW, and Vic Metro Girls. After giving up basketball mid-2018 to focus solely on football and to find some balance between school and sport, Nicola knew if she put everything into this year she could be a promising candidate to be drafted. That mindset and determination paid off for Xenos who succeeded in the AFLW being the third draft pick for the St Kilda Football Club.
At the start of this year she was quoted as saying she just wanted to play at the highest level, whether that was for Vic Metro or VFLW however, after a stellar performance with Collingwood’s 2019 VFLW Premiership side for the team’s final six games and a Grand Final triumph, Nicola caught the attention of recruiters. Dubbed a speed and endurance machine, the forward/midfielder showcased her skills and defensive pressure finishing off as one of the best players in the final game of the season.
The Saints believe Xenos’ ability to run through the midfield makes her an incredibly damaging player, and when combined with her unrelenting hunt for the football, Nicola is more than a handful for the opposition to deal with. “While small in stature, Xenos’ vivacity at the contest could see her pack a punch in Season 2020,” say the Saints.
Georgia Patrikios made history by becoming the first female Saint to be drafted to the club as the team takes the step towards its inaugural year in the AFLW.
The forward/midfielder previously played for the Calder Cannons, Essendon VFLW, and Vic Metro Girls. St Kilda used its first-round selection to snare Calder Cannons captain, Patrikios, at the 2019 AFLW National Draft. The elite on-baller was crowned the MVP of the NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships back in July, with her agility and clean disposal allowing Vic Metro to go through the tournament undefeated. Her prowess through the midfield was just as dominant for the Cannons, seeing her named among the best on ground six out of nine times. The young footballer has represented the side a record 22 times across three seasons, first lining up in the NAB League as a 16-year-old. Patrikios also played four games for Essendon’s VFLW team in 2019 to average 19 disposals and five tackles per game, doing her best work as an inside midfielder.
The Saints said of Patrikios: “Boasting great composure, a strong burst of speed and an impressive sidestep, Patrikios will have an immediate impact in the red, white and black.”
St Kilda’s AFLW pre-season will kick off in late November and there’s no doubt the Greek Australian community will be following the girls’ journey into professional league and cheering them on!
*Photos & Stats courtesy of The Saints Club