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