Elsie Albert

Eels sign Orchids skipper Albert

Elsie happily made this announcement after successfully finalizing the contract with the Eels.

The hard running prop-forward is happy to join the Parramatta Eels women’s team for the two seasons. She expressed her excitement and is looking forward for season 2023.

Elsie thanked the NRLW Dragons for giving her the opportunity to play and represent them. She said the Dragons is a great club. It developed her as a person and as a footballer both on and off the field which she will forever be grateful for.

Albert, Tonegato claim Dragons' NRLW Player of the Year Medal

A career season to date provided due reward for Albert whose fan favourite status expanded in leaps and bound throughout the Dragons' run to the NRLW grand final.

The major club honour also caps off an incredible campaign for Tonegato, who additionally won the Dally M Medal (joint with Brisbane Broncos forward Millie Boyle) and the RLPA Players' Champion last week.

Dragons NRLW coach Jamie Soward named back-rower Shaylee Bent as his coach's award recipient.

From culture shock to big stage: Albert soaks in moment

“It’s overwhelming,” Albert says.

“Especially the first time I came, but with good people around me I get comfortable and more accustomed to the way of lifestyle here so it’s good.”

Albert arrived to the Dragons from Papua New Guinea for her second campaign at the club last year before the pandemic postponed the season, forcing her to make a decision on whether to remain in Australia or head home.

Her first experience in the NRLW was a challenge on the field as well as off it, so you wouldn't have blamed her if she didn't want to stay.

Albert's feats creating wild excitement in PNG

Celebrations were so wild that the phone they had been gathered around to watch the game fell to the ground and broke.

“They told me you have to pay for the phone, but it is all good,” Albert said ahead of Sunday’s clash with Parramatta at WIN Stadium. “It was my first win and it still feels surreal, but I am looking forward to the next game now.”

Albert is hoping to create another piece of personal history by playing against her good friend and Orchids team-mate Therese Aiton, in what would be the first time two PNG players have featured in an NRLW match.