Jasmine Fleming is sporting royalty, but as the daughter of Australian cricket star Damien, she’s carving her own way in the sporting world with Hawthorn’s AFLW side.
Fleming has been nominated for the Rising Star award in Round 3, alongside Carlton’s Keeley Skepper.
The Hawks pounced on the speedy, classy midfielder in the Season 7 draft, taking Fleming at No.2, and she hasn’t disappointed, clocking up four tackles, four marks and 18 disposals in their clash against Fremantle on Saturday.
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Despite playing an integral part of the game, Jasmine says she is shocked by the nomination, mainly because she was focusing on her side’s 13-point loss.
“After the game, I was probably just more focusing on the loss, so I wasn’t really expecting it,” she told 7NEWS.com.au.
“This year, I do think I’ve probably up-skilled a bit.
“I’ve been working on my kicking a lot with our midfield coach, David McKay, so I think that’s working a bit better this year, helping out the forwards, so I think that’s probably the main thing that I’ve personally found.
“Last year I was kicking more to space rather than actually helping our forwards and hitting them up, so I think that forward connection this year has been better, I’m trying to bring them into games much more.”
Hawthorn sit 11th on the ladder, following two losses and one win so far, but having only entered the competition last season, Jasmine says there’s still adjustment to go.
“After Round 1, it was a hard loss … where we showed glimpses of the brand of footy that we want to play,” she said.
“This week I just felt like we probably played three quarters rather than four, and that’s probably a running theme at the moment.
“The vibe around the club is really good because we’ve got such a young group, and I think we show glimpses throughout games. It’s just building on that, and that’s probably just going to take a little bit of time.”
Hawthorn have added some of the best players in the competition to their inventory this year, with Season 6 league best-and-fairest winner Emily Bates making the leap to Waverley Park as well as fellow premiership Lion, Greta Bodey.
“The moment Batesy walked in, the standards changed immediately,” Fleming said.
“Because she’s a competitor herself, but she brings a lot of people along with her, which, as a young team, is awesome; so I think our standards have gone up a mile since she’s been around the club.
“I think she still pushes all of us, which is what she wants. She’s such a good person and a good player, but she also just brings everyone along, especially myself.
“She’s been so helpful with me – I think getting that experience this season has definitely changed the dynamics a lot.”
Blues Keeley Skepper was also named a Rising Star after booting three goals in their 53-point demolition of the West Coast Eagles, but, shockingly, says she was also surprised to get the call.
Skepper says her diet has been a focus this season, which appears to be paying off.
“I’ve been really trying to focus on my diet this season and making sure I’m properly fuelling my body for both training and game-day,” Skepper said.
“Our dietitian, Emma, has been really helpful, in teaching me about certain foods and just giving more insight and knowledge into athletes and their diet in general.
“Emma’s been great for me, yesterday after we got the win, she gave me some sour patch kids because she knows they are my favourite”
Evidently, a beloved member of their side, she was even comically voted the No.1 player her teammates would rather not sit next to when travelling.
“It’s a bit of a running joke we have around the club, we all have a really fun time travelling together, I just have heaps of energy and am very bubbly,” Skepper said.
Having recently moved to Melbourne from Wodonga, Skepper says being in one place has helped stabilise her training and game regime.
“Not having to travel to and from Wodonga has really helped me to properly recover as well as be a lot less fatigued,” she said.
“Another thing is I was at school last year, so mentally it was a lot to juggle having elite football as well as school work, but I finished off really well, and I’m now excited to be done and can fully focus on footy.”
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