Main content

Phoebe's Story: Week 10

Winners Circle Live the moment again! Cats win their inaugural AFLW match in a one-point thriller

“A night to remember.”

“A magical moment.”

“A wicked experience.”

These are just some of the words used by my teammates to describe last weekend’s season opener against the Pies.

18,500 fans, a one-point victory to the home side and thousands of young girls watching their new heroes take to the field.

It was like the storyline of a movie. The number one draft pick, hits the post with a set-shot on goal to give her side the win. Steven Spielberg couldn’t have scripted it better.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to take to the field for the first game. I injured my hammy at our final training session on Thursday and was a late withdrawal from the squad.

Missing the game was one of the hardest experiences I’ve been through and finding out so close to the game didn’t give me time to prepare for the rollercoaster of emotions that flowed through me leading up to match. However, as soon as Aasta went up for that first ruck tap, my heartbreak turned to excitement and I was just so proud of my teammates.

That’s the beauty of team sport. Before the game I had a chat with our captain Mel Hickey who was also going through the same disappointment of missing the first game. She sat with me and told me to think about what it would be like if you were a tennis player dealing with an injury. You’d have to go through the experience on your own. What a lonely thought.

Instead I got to witness some of my best friends achieve success in what will be a moment they will remember for the rest of their lives. Maddy Boyd crashing packs and kicking goals. Nina Morrison racking up 22-disposals in her AFLW debut. Liv Purcell tackling every Magpie that came across her path. I was thrilled for everyone.

When the final siren rang all the girls who missed the game jumped to their feet and had a massive group hug. The win meant so much to everyone. We went down onto the ground and were able to join our teammates in singing the song, give them celebratory hugs and then meet all the fans who had come along to support us.

The celebrations continued throughout the week. Nina was announced as the round one rising star nominee with Alyce Parker from GWS, Georgie Rankin’s picture with the girls in the crowd went viral and Meghan McDonald spent the week on media street.

For me, I celebrated when I passed my fitness test last night along with my teammate Erin Hoare. This weekend we will make our debut against last year’s premiers the Western Bulldogs with 19 of our best mates.

Having missed the first game, I’m now more excited than ever to play alongside my team. Hopefully it’s another wickedly, magical night to remember.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs