• Australian cricketer Jess Cameron plays a shot during the final match of the ICC Women's World Cup 2013 between Australia and West Indies at the Cricket Club of India's Brabourne stadium in Mumbai on February 17, 2013. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
One of Australia's top international cricketers has declared her interest in pursuing a position in the new women's national AFL competition.
By
Peter Holden

8 Feb 2016 - 9:42 AM  UPDATED 8 Feb 2016 - 9:42 AM

Southern Stars veteran Jess Cameron confirmed she has commenced training with Victorian club Diamond Creek in an effort to be drafted later this year.

With 10 VFL Women's clubs to pick from, the 26-year-old revealed that a few chats with a fellow Victorian cricketer as well as the captain of the Western Bulldogs women's team made the decision for her to join the Creekers easy.

"Kirsty Lamb has been playing at Diamond Creek the last couple of years when she hasn't had cricket," Cameron explained.

"So I had a chat with her and Steph Chocci as well.

"Elyse Villani, who plays for Australia now, she played for Diamond Creek also so them getting in my ear helped a little bit."

Cameron, who is a right-handed batter and leg spin bowler, was recruited by the Perth Scorchers to play in the inaugural Women's Big Bash League but decided to take a break from cricket last October.

"It wasn't that I wasn't enjoying my cricket, I think I just got a little bit burnt out from my cricket, and I thought switching sports might help me to maintain my fitness and stuff like that," Cameron said.

"Knowing that football is going in the direction it is, I thought it might be a good time to switch now."

Although the cream of the crop from the recent AFL National Female Talent Search in Melbourne has already been drawn into the Victoria's women's football academy, Cameron is yet to join them, with AFL Victoria allowing her enough space to ease back into being an elite sports person.

"[Victorian female football manager] Darren Flanigan has been really good and given me the opportunity to have a break from any academies or training at a high level after my decision to stop playing cricket.

"I've only really just started to get into it now, but I suppose it's going to get bigger and better.

"They're expecting me to train pretty much every day, with a couple of rest days."

The new state league recruit is no stranger to Aussie Rules, having played with Werribee Juniors in her younger days, and more recently dominating the VWFL lower divisions alongside her sister Andrea at Wyndhamvale (2014) and Port Melbourne Colts (2015).

Cameron discussed her decision to play lower division football in previous years.

"It was pretty much because I used to miss half a season [due to cricket].

"I didn't want to play for a Premier club knowing that I'd miss finals. I had my sister playing and I just wanted to play with her.

"It's been nice to play with her, actually; I hadn't been able to play much with her before so the last couple of seasons has been really good to play with her."

The decision for one of the nation's elite sportswomen to pull on the boots for Diamond Creek comes as a real boost for the Creekers, who will go into season 2016 without their home ground, Plenty Park, due to its redevelopment, as well as having played bridesmaid to the Darebin Falcons in the last three VWFL Premier Division Grand Finals.

2012 VWFL premiership-winning full back and new senior coach, Tanya Hetherington, was all praise for her new recruit.

"It is fantastic to have someone of Jess Cameron's calibre choosing to play with us at Diamond Creek," Hetherington told Girls Play Footy.

"Jess brings with her a great deal of professionalism and experience that I believe will be a wonderful asset to the club as a whole." 

The Creekers coach believes the Aussie cricketer will be just one of many to jump codes and is hoping to snare some more recruits, particularly those who tried out at the recent talent search.

"In terms of the cross-code athletes, I think every club will be taking a close look at these girls," Hetherington said.

"Football, I believe, is a great sport for transferable skills. I know we have a fair few former netballers, basketballers and the like.

"We obviously have had Laura 'Irish' Corrigan on our list for a long time now, who has a gaelic background, but is now a fully-fledged AFL player in her own right.

"I think it shows that there is always potential there with the cross-sport athletes and we will definitely be looking to add a few to our list, as I'm sure all other clubs are looking to do as well."

For now, we wait patiently for AFL Victoria to release the VFL Women's footy fixture for 2016 to see where we can catch Jess Cameron and the other cross-code athletes playing state league footy.