Meet the GWS Giants Ashleigh Guest

Ashleigh Guest is a born and bred Victorian that plays her footy at VU Western Spurs in the VFL. However, when given the opportunity to move up to Sydney to start her AFLW career with the GWS Giants, she jumped at it the chance. Guesty is a massive Ladder advocate and the first interstate player that we have profiled this AFLW season.

1. What does it mean to you to be playing in the inaugural AFLW competition?

Playing in the AFLW competition is amazing, it's something I didn't think I'd ever get the opportunity to do so the whole thing can still feel surreal at times. It's such an exciting era for women's sport and I feel humbled and honoured to be involved. I think the best part of it is that every little girl growing up has female AFL players to look up to and they are able to strive to the highest level in AFL now and that's something that keeps me grounded.

2. What is/ was your day job outside of the AFL?

I work for a construction Company called Guest Building Group as the Partnerships Co-ordinator and admin for the RTO side of the company. We work with many AFL athletes mentoring them through renovations and a Building and Construction Course. They have allowed me to continue working in Sydney and have been really flexible while I juggle work and being and athlete.

3. What have you found most challenging about being an AFL player?

Most challenging thing for me would have to be moving away from home, I moved to Sydney from Melbourne in November to put myself out of my comfort zone. Not having the most important people in my life with me in Sydney can be really hard sometimes but with FaceTime and Skype its something that I have been able to deal with.

4. What do you do to relax?

To relax I like to have a coffee and go for a walk, leave my phone at home and switch off for a little while.

5. What would be your advice to a young person who is struggling to get motivated? [in terms of exercise, work and study etc]

If you're struggling to get motivated for work, or study or exercise I think it's so important to find something that you really love doing, if you're not loving what you do then it can be really hard to wake up in the morning. Once you find something you love doing, stick to it. There will be days that it's hard to get up, or you've had a bad week but as long as you love it, you'll be able to get yourself up.

6. Who has been a mentor in your life and what did you take from this relationship?

Debbie Lee - Deb has been my coach at Club level for the past 3 seasons, prior to that we played along side each other for 7 years. Deb also gave me a job at the Melbourne Football Club and I think without realising she guided me in the right direction. Her passion for the game of AFL, in particular Women's AFL and the work she did to create the AFLW league is something that has inspired me and I look up too. A few conversations we had at work have stuck with me about loving what you do and doing it as well as standing up for things you believe in.

7. Why do you support Ladder, and its work tackling youth homelessness?

Ladder's work with youth homelessness is amazing and each person at Ladder has so much passion for the cause. Nobody wants to see any young person without a stable home environment, but Ladder do something about it and really make a difference to every young person that goes through their programs. There's something really special about Ladder and from the moment I heard about it, I wanted to get involved.

Get down and watch GWS take on Carlton at Ikon Park, Saturday 11th Feb at 3:35pm