It’s going to get confusing on the training track and even more difficult for opposition midfielders with Fremantle poised to add another ‘Turbo’ to their line-up, committing to sign Adelaide premiership player Nikki Gore.
The move will need to be facilitated by a trade with Adelaide with the details to be finalised during the AFLW sign and trade period, with a start date still to be confirmed.
Gore went by the nickname ‘Turbo’ at Adelaide and was a protegee under Kiara Bowers in her time at the AFL Academy prior to her debut season with the Crows in 2019.
The 21-year-old battled to work her way into the Crows’ stacked midfield, instead playing primarily as a defender in 2022, making eight appearances including in the Crows’ Grand Final win against Melbourne and their Preliminary Final win against Fremantle.
She was fond of her time at Adelaide but excited to have more opportunity in her preferred role.
“I’m really grateful for my time at Adelaide. They’ve been a wonderful club to be a part of and obviously a very successful team,” Gore said.
“To learn off some of those girls, such as Chelsea Randall and Erin Phillips, it’s been amazing. I’ve learnt a lot from the club from the coaching there but it’s a very strong side to crack into, especially in the roles where I feel I can play my best football.
“Instead, I was given the chance to test myself in the backline and grow in some areas I haven’t played before.”
The 164cm Gore aims to become a midfielder that can impact the scoreboard at Fremantle, with Senior Coach Trent Cooper confident she won’t be needed down back.
“I feel like I can play my best football as an inside mid, while rotating forward as a small forward trying to sneak some goals,” Gore said.
“The first thing Trent Cooper said to me was, ‘we’ve got plenty of backliners here, so you won’t be needed there’ and I was like ‘sweet, perfect!’”
Cooper said Gore had been on Fremantle’s radar since her impressive draft year where she made the 2018 All Australian squad at the U18 National Championships, made the SANFLW Team of the Year and won South Adelaide’s best and fairest award.
“Nikki has been someone that we’ve been tracking since the State 18s, when she was South Australia’s best performer in that carnival,” Cooper said.
“She’s been playing for Adelaide, who are the benchmark of the competition over the past few years. She’s played some good footy for them but has still struggled for opportunity to break into that really strong midfield.
“When she’s been playing in the SANFLW competition, she’s been consistently racking up 25 touches and 15 tackles.
“She’s a premiership player but we think she’s got a lot more to give and we’re stoked that she could give us that in purple.”