Stew­art to live her Dock­ers dream

Broome Advertiser - - News - Carly Laden

A young Jaru woman has achieved her life­long dream of play­ing AFLW for her beloved Fre­man­tle Dock­ers and hopes to be­come a role model for young indigenous girls.

Jas­min Stew­art was re­cruited from WAWFL side Clare­mont as Fre­man­tle’s first pick and fourth over­all in the AFLW draft, which took place on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 23.

The 19-year-old mid­fielder, who stud­ies psy­chol­ogy and com­mu­ni­ca­tions at UWA, said her sur­prise at be­ing drafted was still sink­ing in, but she was grate­ful to be given the op­por­tu­nity.

“I had no idea I would be picked first by Fre­man­tle and fourth over­all,” she said.

“I had an inkling that I would be picked be­cause of my per­for­mance in WAWFL this year, but to be Fre­man­tle’s first pick, I never thought that would hap­pen.

“It’s crazy that I will be play­ing for the team I grew up sup­port­ing.

“I still have the socks, the guernseys and the jumpers from when I was lit­tle, and now I’ll be able to wear my very own Fre­man­tle kit.”

Stew­art had a stel­lar season with the Clare­mont Tigers in 2018, win­ning the club’s best and fairest award in the process.

Hav­ing trav­elled across WA through­out her child­hood, in­clud­ing liv­ing the Pil­bara, Ms Stew­art’s foot­ball jour­ney be­gan in the Gold­fields. “I played in Kam­balda for a year, then I moved to Kal­go­or­lie and played with the boys there be­fore mov­ing to Perth for board­ing school,” she said.

“From there I be­gan play­ing women’s footy in Clare­mont, then I was in­tro­duced to State 16s and 18s and the WAWFL, and I guess the rest is his­tory.”

De­spite spend­ing much of her life in the south­ern end of WA, Ms Stew­art has a strong con­nec­tion to the Kim­ber­ley.

“My fam­ily is from Halls Creek and I am par­tially Abo­rig­i­nal, par­tic­u­larly the Jaru tribe,” she said.

“I’m pretty lucky to have the back­ground I have, and I hope to be­come a role model for other young Abo­rig­i­nal girls.

“It’s pretty crazy to think peo­ple will be look­ing up to me, but I would love to show young girls that with hard work, you can achieve any­thing.”

Stew­art also said she was ex­cited to be­gin train­ing with her new team­mates, play­ers she has looked up to since the in­au­gu­ral AFLW season in 2017.

“To be able to train with Kara Don­nel­lan, Ebony Antonio and all the other girls and develop my game is very ex­cit­ing,” she said.

“I’ve watched them play over the years to try and im­prove my­self but now I’ll be able to play along­side them.”

The Fre­man­tle Dock­ers’ 2019 AFLW season kicks off on Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 3, when they take on the Mel­bourne De­mons at Casey Fields.

Fre­man­tle’s first home game will take place at Fre­man­tle Oval on Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 10, against the Bris­bane Lions.

Pic­ture: Michael Wilson/AFL Me­dia

Fre­man­tle Dock­ers AFLW coach Trent Cooper presents Jas­min Stew­art with her jumper at the NAB AFLW Draft.

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