Celebrating 150 games this week is Falcons very own Jess Dal Pos. First getting into AFL by going to Auskick every Saturday morning with her brother, Jess first represented Darebin in the Youth Girls competition at age 15, winning NFNL junior premierships as both a player and coach of the Falcons.
I remember my first game, where I was super nervous because I was playing in the boys U10s and wasn’t sure if I’d be good enough. Pretty sure Dad counted my stats.
Jess was part of a special era of Falcon’s history with premierships in VWFL, followed up by winning the first 2 Grand Finals of the newly created VFLW competition.
My favourite thing about the Falcons is winning flags with my mates. Winning the Darebin premiership on Marvel Stadium after everyone had written us off was definitely a highlight.
Jess was a Victorian State Representative 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and an All Australian 2010 2011. She played with the Western Bulldogs in 2013, and with the Melbourne Demons in 2015. In 2016, she was selected as a priority pick for the GWS Giants.
In the AFLW inaugural year, Jess averaged 14 disposals a game for the Giants. She finished second in the competition for tackles and third for clearances, winning the club’s Inaugural Best and Fairest Gabrielle Trainor Medal, and selected in the 2017 All Australian team. She has been part of the club’s leadership group from her first season 2017. Ever consistent, Dal Pos has not missed a single match in the GWS Giant’s team in the first 5 seasons of AFLW.
Her skills and experiences stand out within an elite football environment, and she also plays a crucial role supporting players on and off the field. Passionate about developing younger players, Jess was part of the Falcons #StrongGirlsWIP project, featuring in a series of Footy Fundamentals videos for young players as well as running our Falcons Academy sessions in 2020.
I have a vivid memory of the first time I saw Jess play. It was an U18s semi final on a muddy bog in the outer Northern suburbs. Jess flew for a contested mark on the wing, took it cleanly then played on through the wing and delivered a lace out forward 50 entry on her wicked left foot. It was shocking and delightful how much of a naturally powerful and skillful footballer Jess was at that age.
Apart from Jess’ obvious football gifts, Jess is a Falcon in all possible ways. She is supremely hardworking, competitive, giving and community-minded. She has a great footy brain and communicator, when Jess talks, you listen. Jess loves the club and is willing to give back whenever she can and we are all better for it.
This week as she takes the field and celebrates the 150 milestone, the Falcons fans will be appreciative of the passion and excitement that Jess Dal Pos brings to the game. With an uncanny ability to find space, she recently also kicked her 100th goal in senior footy. With hard running and loads of footy smarts, Dal Pos offers leadership and composure to the midfield.