Port Adelaide recruits Litonya and Laquoiya Cockatoo-Motlap. Picture: Richard Gosling
Twins Litonya and Laquoiya Cockatoo-Motlap have become the latest Bull Sharks to join the AFLW ranks after committing to expansion club Port Adelaide.
Their elevation gives them the chance to add to the family’s remarkable dynasty at Port Adelaide where uncles Che and twins Donald and David Cockatoo-Collins played.
Bond general manager of AFL Michael Swann said the twins had made a great impact in their time at the Bull Sharks and were ready to make the step-up to AFLW level.
“Laquioya and Litonya have been tremendous additions to our squad,’’ Swann said.
“Both of the girls have really bought in to our focus on growth and development, as people as well as footballers.
“Earning their places on an AFLW list is great reward for their hard work over a number of years and we’re glad that we’ve been able to play a role in helping them take that next step this season.
“There’s no doubt that they’ve both quickly made a home-away-from-home amongst friends at Bond and we’re sure that connection with the Bull Sharks will remain as they progress to the next level with Port Adelaide.’’
The 19-year-olds were informed of Port Adelaide’s offer by Che in an emotion-charged Zoom hook-up with new Power coach Lauren Arnell and the twins’ parents, which was record and posted on Port Adelaide’s website.
The sisters, who recently starred for Queensland in the National Championships, both said it was the realisation of their shared lifelong dream to be joining Port Adelaide.
Che Cockatoo played 75 AFL games for Port Adelaide and a further 85 games for Essendon while David and Donald were drafted to Melbourne in the AFL after starting their careers with the Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL.
“My twin uncles got drafted together so we’re lucky that we both got picked up together as well,” Litonya said.
“We're actually still pinching ourselves.
“Family is really important to us and I think it’s really special now that my sister and I are the first girls in our family to get picked for Port Adelaide.”
The chance to join a club with a strong connection to the Indigenous community also means a lot to the duo.
“I’ve heard that Port has a strong Indigenous program, and it makes me feel excited and happy that our club will have an understanding of the importance of culture,” Laquoiya said.
“For me, being connected to the community is important. We’ve always taken part in our community through our parents and the work they do and to be a part of a club that acknowledges the contribution of our people is amazing. We’re both proud to be a part of this club.”
While Litonya is a defender across halfback, Laquoiya plays in the forward pocket like her uncle, Che, who kicked 215 goals from his 160 AFL games.
New Power coach and former Brisbane Lions AFLW premiership player Lauren Arnell said she can’t wait to see what the twins can achieve at the highest level.
“Both players are really nice kickers of the football and really balanced offensively,” Arnell said.
“When the ball turns over, they’ve got great ability to get the ball back, plus they’re fierce with their tackling, which we love here at Port Adelaide.’’