Col­lie stint played role for Docker

New sign­ing drew strength from in­jury time-out

South Western Times - - Sport - FOOT­BALL Justin Fris

The Fre­man­tle Dock­ers se­lected South West-based phys­io­ther­a­pist Philipa Seth with pick 28 in Tues­day’s AFLW Draft in Mel­bourne.

De­spite all the nat­u­ral de­light and re­lief upon be­ing in­formed of the an­nounce­ment, the 24-year-old half-back flanker could not help but cast her mind back to 2016 — a year in which she was side­lined by in­jury and re­quired to as­sess her op­tions.

That time out of the game gave Seth an op­por­tu­nity to build her knowl­edge as a phys­io­ther­a­pist and re­cover to be­come an im­por­tant cog in East Fre­man­tle’s WAWFL side while en­joy­ing life in the South West dur­ing the week.

“I had the in­jury in 2016 which was ac­tu­ally my first work­ing year af­ter grad­u­at­ing from uni,” she said.

“Be­cause I wasn’t able to play footy, I was like ‘well I’m prob­a­bly in the rare op­por­tu­nity of where I’m not re­ally stuck any­where’ — so I thought about what they al­ways say about go­ing to the coun­try and gain­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for your ca­reer, so I thought ‘yep, let’s do that’.

“My plan was only to spend about a year here un­til I could play footy again but that’s turned into nearly three.

“It prob­a­bly would have been eas­ier to head back to Perth ear­lier, but I’ve re­ally en­joyed my time in the South West be­tween Har­vey and Col­lie.”

With the SWFL women’s com­pe­ti­tion go­ing from strength to strength, Seth is heart­ened by the qual­ity of fe­male foot­ballers in the re­gion and is hope­ful oth­ers may be able to fol­low her path to AFLW level.

“Liv­ing and bas­ing my­self out of Col­lie, I was ac­tu­ally heav­ily in­volved with the Col­lie Ea­gles,” she said.

“I think they had me down as an as­sis­tant coach for the women’s team and I tried to get to as many games as I could.

“In the days when I wasn’t up in Perth, I’d def­i­nitely head down to the Col­lie oval and train with the girls there. I formed quite a close bond with them. I re­ceived heaps of mes­sages from them on Tues­day and it was all pos­i­tive.

“I’m hop­ing I don’t lose that bond there be­cause I want to see it con­tinue to grow.”

Be­fore her pre-sea­son com­mit­ments with the Dock­ers, Seth said she would con­tinue to main­tain her fit­ness lev­els by playing touch rugby.

My plan was only to spend about a year here un­til I could play footy again but that’s turned into nearly three. Philipa Seth

Pic­ture: Jas­mine Hulls

New Fre­man­tle Dock­ers AFLW draftee Philipa Seth.

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