AFLW star Prespakis ready for grudge match

·2-min read

Essendon star Madison Prespakis knows the boos and bumps are coming from Carlton but admits she still loves the Blues ahead of an AFLW grudge match.

Prespakis and fellow Blue-turned-Bomber Georgia Gee will face their former team at Port Melbourne Oval on Sunday.

The duo's off-season switch to expansion club Essendon continues to cause a stir with Blues supporters.

The clubs have been fierce rivals in the men's competition for more than a century, and Carlton had already lost a number of key women's players in recent seasons as their on-field fortunes plummeted.

But the switch to Tullamarine of Prespakis, the 2020 league best-and-fairest winner, sent the Blues army into a frenzy.

The 21-year-old, who grew up a diehard Essendon supporter, admits the reaction to her move had been more difficult to navigate than she anticipated.

"I think in some ways I'm probably a little bit surprised in the way maybe some people reacted to it, in terms of people that we thought were really close to us," Prespakis told reporters at The Hangar on Tuesday.

"Ringing a couple of people and probably not getting the response that we wanted back is probably a little bit disappointing but it's like any other workplace, you're probably not going to stay at the same workplace for the rest of your life."

The hardworking midfielder said she had become "pretty stagnant" at Carlton and needed a new challenge to reinvigorate her.

"I probably felt like I wasn't getting any better," Prespakis said.

"(After) my 2020 year ... I put a lot of pressure on myself internally, but I felt it externally, and I wasn't sure how to deal with that.

"It came down to stepping out of my comfort zone."

Prespakis participated in Essendon's official 150th anniversary celebrations when the Bombers' men's team hosted Carlton in June.

When she was announced by the MC pre-game, a chorus of boos greeted her from Carlton fans around the MCG.

"We were all just smiling and we heard the boos and kind of just giggled and thought, 'Are we actually getting booed?'" Prespakis said.

"It doesn't make me sad or anything, I still love Carlton no matter what, just unfortunately I'm wearing different colours now."

Prespakis is expecting more boos this weekend as Essendon attempt to follow-up a win in their debut AFLW game last Saturday night against Hawthorn.

"You'll probably get the boos from the sidelines but that's to to be expected," she said.

"I'm sure we'll have a few bodies trying to hit us a little harder but that's part of footy."