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Crows sign second Olympian to 2018 Women's team

Sport

Six-time Australian beach volleyball champion Becchara Palmer has become the second Olympian signed to the Adelaide Football Club’s AFL Women’s team, the club announced today.

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The Adelaide-born 28-year-old, who represented Australia at the London Olympics in 2012 and featured on the reserve team at last year’s Rio Olympics, stepped away from volleyball earlier this year after more than a decade of international competition.

Palmer joins former Olympic basketballer and inaugural AFLW best and fairest Erin Philips – who also won best on ground at last year’s Crows premiership Grand Final – on the Crows list.

Crows general manager football administration Phil Harper said Palmer would be a great asset to the team.

“Becchara is an explosive athlete who has years of experience competing at the highest level, so she is sure to be a great asset to our team both on and off the field,” Harper said.

“To represent Australia at an Olympics requires a huge amount of mental and physical toughness so we know that Becchara will help to continue to drive elite standards at the club.”

Palmer said that while it would be “hard work” to transition from volleyball to football, her fitness and experience with elite international sport would set her up for success.

“Growing up I was always playing or watching sport – including attending Crows games at Football Park with dad – so to be able to join the club and have a go at playing football professionally is really such an honour,” Palmer said.

“I watched the first season of the AFLW with great interest.

“While it’s going to take a lot of hard work to successfully transition from volleyball to football, I think my base fitness and the experience I have in preparing for sporting campaigns will go a long way.”

Among her achievements in volleyball, Palmer was 2006 Junior World Champion, 2009 and 2010 South Australian Sports Institute Female Athlete of the Year and a gold medallist in the Oceania Championships in New Zealand in 2012.

Palmer, who attended Henley High School and currently works in digital marketing, has been signed as a rookie because she has not participated in football competitively for the last three years.

Rookies must either be under 21-years-old on January 1, 2018, or not have played Australian football or been part of an AFL high performance program in the three years to May 1 this year.

In total, 20 members of the Crows’ inaugural AFLW premiership team have re-signed for the 2018 season, including co-captains Phillips and Chelsea Randall.

They are joined by South Australia-based teammates Sarah Perkins, Courtney Cramey, Ebony Marinoff, Jenna McCormick, Talia Radan, Anne Hatchard, Dayna Cox, Jess Sedunary, Justine Mules, Rhiannon Metcalfe, Rachael Killian, Deni Varnhagen, Georgia Bevan and Sarah Allan.

Northern Territory players Abbey Holmes, Stevie-Lee Thompson and joint-vice captains Ange Foley and Sally Riley have also inked new deals with the club.

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