Home » Football in her blood: Piper’s remarkable path to AFLW footy

Football in her blood: Piper’s remarkable path to AFLW footy

Piper Window was selected by Port Adelaide with the club’s first pick in the 2023 AFLW Draft. Image: Michael Sullivan.

PIPER WINDOW seems a natural athlete, excelling at just about every sport she turns her attention to.

First there was netball, volleyball, swimming and athletics – including a second placing in the prestigious Bay Sheffield as a junior. And all along, there was Surf Life Saving.

The beach is like a second home to the 18-year-old so while her obvious talent, power and athleticism has seen her put most of her energy into football over recent years, life saving has been a constant.

She steers clear of the swimming competitions, preferring to showcase her speed in the sprints and flags events. In April she came fifth in the Under 19 category at the Australian Surf Life Saving Opens Championship on the Gold Coast.

“I’ve done Surf Life Saving from as soon as I could,” Window told portadelaidefc.com.au “And I’m actually still doing that now, though the season’s just finished.

“It works out well now with footy because it’s the opposite season, so I can kind of can keep doing both. It’s something I really enjoy because all the sprinting and the short running on sand is really helpful (when it comes to footy).”

Window came fifth in the Under 19 category at the Australian Surf Life Saving Opens Championship. Image: Piper Window/Instagram.

And it seems to have worked so far.

After starting her footballing journey at Morphettville Park, she missed selection in Glenelg’s SANFLW under 16 team, but was then asked to try out for the senior side at the Bays, going on to become a premiership player in 2021.

Last season, while completing her year 12 studies at Brighton High School, the teenager was named part of the SANFLW’s team of the year and took home the Coaches’ Award and Breakthrough Player of the Year as best player under 21, before being crowned the SANFLW’s Best and Fairest Player.

The captain of the 2023 under 18 All-Australian team capped a remarkable year by being selected by Port Adelaide as the club’s first pick (pick 19 overall) in the AFLW Draft. 

Window was the captain of the 2023 u18 All-Australian team, just one of many achievements in her junior football career. Image: AFL Photos.

But it would not be a surprise to those who know her lineage.

Football in her blood.

Window’s great-grandfather Clarrie Window was a defender for Glenelg and represented South Australia, her grandfather, Gary Window, was the first captain of Central District, won the 1965 Magarey Medal as the SANFL’s best and most brilliant player and is a member of the South Australian Football Hall of Fame, and her father, Peter Window, played footy with West Adelaide and Central District. Her brother Hunter Window is also a member of the Bays’ senior roster and was part of the side which won the 2023 SANFL Reserves premiership.

“I always grew up with my brothers playing footy,” Window said. 

Every weekend, I was somewhere with footy going on and I was always just kidding around playing marks up in the backyard, all that kind of stuff.

– Piper Window

“I always thought I loved netball, I wanted to play for the (Adelaide) Thunderbirds and then, all of a sudden, it kind of just switched. I went out to Morphies (Morphetville) and I was like, this is actually really fun. I love it.

“And then obviously with my brothers and my grandpa and my dad, they were just helping me play footy. I’m always getting feedback like they are always telling me ‘you should have led here or done that’.

Piper Window with her grandfather and Central District Magarey Medallist Gary Window. Image: Peter Argent.

“Sometimes I feel like it’s annoying and I’m like ‘oh go away’ but I always take it in. They can see it from the sidelines and have the knowledge, so I listen because I know it’s helping me.”

Window was one of several Port Adelaide AFLW players given permission to play the opening five games of the SANFLW season and she performed strongly, going on to average 22 disposals, six tackles and five clearances per game for the Bays.

As she eagerly prepares for her first AFLW pre-season, she is completing her Certificate 4 in Fitness and helping run surf safety classes for kids.

She has also taken on the role of coaching the year 7-9 girls football teams at Immanuel College with teammate Ella Boag.

“I run a training session each week and then a game, which is pretty fun,” she smiled.

“We had a trial game last week where we got smashed by 10 goals, but a lot of those girls haven’t actually played footy before, which I like. At least they are trying.

One of the more accomplished 18-year-olds you’ll come across, Window is hoping to crack into Port Adelaide’s side in her debut year. Image: Michael Sullivan.

“I’ll be pinching a few drills from our coaches here at Port Adelaide and we’ll see how we go.”

And Port supporters will be keen to see how Window goes in her debut season.

Her modest goals highlight the humility and quiet confidence she will carry into her time at Alberton.

“I just want to play my best in the (pre-season) trial games and hopefully get a game during the season,” she said.

“Well, I’d like more than one, but I’ve got to start with one game first.”