Those keeping an ear to the ground at Fremantle’s AFLW training sessions might be fooled into thinking Justin Longmuir was out there joining them.
Despite having the same nickname as the AFL senior coach, new draftee Jess Low is looking to make a name for herself in her first year at the Club.
The impressive 22-year-old, who is studying post-grad Law at UWA, has already turned heads in her six weeks on the training track, starting with her fifth-place finish in the time trial on day one of pre-season.
In Saturday’s match sim, the 165cm Low played well above her height on star forward Gemma Houghton, performing well one-on-one as she adapted to the pace of the game at the elite level.
“Gemma’s really nice! I was a bit scared of her before we met but she’s one of my favourites,” Low said.
“I really had to switch on for Gemma, she’s so quick but that was enjoyable. She loves a little bit of talk in the goal square and it was enjoyable. (The match sim) was quite fast paced, you just learn so much in terms of game play and mistakes you make, you’ll get exposed.
“I haven’t played on as many people as tall as Gemma, I normally lock down on a small forward but I’m excited for anything and any position.
“I’m not sure where I’ll be playing yet, (senior coach) Trent (Cooper) has flagged both backline and midfield but I think backline at the moment is looking more preferable option.”
Houghton isn’t the only star Low has gone head-to-head with, playing on Hayley Miller in the WAFLW when her team Claremont took on Subiaco.
She said Miller was even better than expected after training alongside her.
“She is a great performer at training, consistently so quick. Rocks up every night and is running really fast,” Low said.
“She is probably even better at Freo than when I played on her at Subi, especially when she has ‘Turbo’ (Kiara Bowers) around her. Those two play really well together.”
She said all of the first-year players have showed good signs in their first pre-season, highlighted by small forward Makaela Tuhakaraina.
“Little ‘Tucks’, she’s another favourite of mine. I do not like playing on her at all as I get side-stepped,” Low said.
“Everyone’s really rocked up and doing quite well with the loading.”
Low added that she was happy to share her nickname with one of the more famous names at Freo.
“I guess Justin did have it first! He’s been around a lot longer,” Low said.
“At my first Club it was J-Low and no matter what team I’m in, someone realises that’s my initials and from there I usually get called J-Low, I’ve just started to accept it.”