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Former netballer excited to “provide a pathway”

Rory Coleman-Heard  September 14, 2016 9:04 AM

Kirby Bentley says football has long been her passion.

New Fremantle signing Kirby Bentley is honoured to pull on the purple jumper ahead of the inaugural season of the national AFL women’s competition in 2017.

The 30-year-old midfielder, who was selected on Wednesday with one of Fremantle’s two priority picks, represented Melbourne in exhibition matches under Freo women’s team head coach Michelle Cowan, and plays for Swan Districts in the WAWFL.

A former netballer, who represented the Perth Orioles in 2009, Bentley said football had long been her passion.

“I grew up watching the game and understanding football and playing it,” Kirby said.

“Football was all I knew and then I got to a certain age where I wasn’t able to play so netball was the pathway.

A dream come true

“Coming across from one sport to another, I think they sort of complement each other in style.

“Short sharp movement has been beneficial for AFL.”

Since 2014, Bentley has been the face of the annual Kirby Bentley Cup – a carnival that showcases the talents of young indigenous female footballers from across WA.

She noted her pride in being selected for Fremantle and highlighted the importance of giving female footballers something to aim for.  

“It’s great to be picked up in WA because we’re providing a pathway for the next generation,” Kirby said.

“Being a part of Fremantle and having played in the West Australian Football League since 2009 is giving us a good chance to make way for the next tier of players.

“It’s a privilege and an honour within itself.”

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