Each week, AFL Europe in combination with Belushi’s will take a look at one of our star players competing in fixtures across the continent in Player Spotlight.
Growing up in Melbourne, Priscilla ‘Prip’ Lodge was surrounded by the Australian game, but found her true passion for it in 2014 when she began playing.
Footy was never far from her mind when she initially planned her move to London, and Prip is forever grateful for joining the Wandsworth Demons in AFL London shortly after landing in the UK.
“I loved playing footy at home and didn’t think twice about playing over here for the competitive side of things, but the main factor was the social side and the opportunity to make friends in a city where I virtually knew no one. The Demons are my London family and I can’t imagine my life here without them.”
Now an experienced campaigner in the sport, Prip has been able to improve her game over this six year span and find out her strengths to best help her teammates.
“I mainly play full back which gives me a good view of the whole ground and the opportunity to read the play. This combined with my loud voice enables me to be instructive and encouraging to my teammates on the field throughout the match.”
Now in her second season for the club, Prip has become the Club Vice-President and Captain of the Women’s Premiership side, showing that she’s a vital piece to the success of the Demons both on and off the field.
During her time in Europe, Prip has been involved in numerous AFL Europe events, including representing the Demons at two consecutive Champions League tournaments and volunteering at the 2018 Euro Cup in Cork.
Prip says the pinnacle of her AFL Europe experience came when she was selected as Captain of the Australian Spirit side at the 2018 Anzac Cup, played on Anzac Day in Villers-Bretonneux so close to the WWI battlefields of the Western Front.
“From attending the Dawn Service marking the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux and presenting a footy jumper to Prince Charles and Malcolm Turnbull afterwards, to donning the green and gold in the 10th Anzac Spirt match, and every special moment in between, I have never felt more proud to be an Australian than I did in these few days.”
After leading the Australian Spirit side to a victory over the French national team, Prip went on to have a successful season with the Demons and capped it off with a flag in the AFL London Women’s Premier Division.
“The 2018 AFL London Grand-Final day on Clapham Common was without doubt one of the best days of my life. All five Wandsworth Demons teams qualified for the grand-final. We finished the day premiers in four of the five divisions which was super exciting and celebrated accordingly. To even have my Mum visiting at the time, made it extra special to celebrate with her, too.”
Prip and her teammates will be looking to make it a three peat this weekend when they take on the North London Lionesses at Hackney Marshes in the 2019 AFL London Grand Final.
Liam McAllion – AFL Europe
Special thanks to Belushi’s for helping grow the game in Europe