Fremantle AFLW recruit Airlie Runnalls is eager to get started at Freo, as the outside mid begins to settle in to life in WA.
Runnalls hails from Yarrawonga on the Victorian side of the Vic/NSW border, and only started playing football a few years ago.
The 23-year-old has played at North Melbourne VFLW for the past three seasons, and finished the 2021 season strongly, collecting 32 and 33 possessions in the final two games for the year.
At quick pace, Runnalls moved over from Victoria to Perth a few weeks ago, before completing a two-week stint of quarantine in Perth.
“I was actually back home in Yarrawonga which is about a three-hour drive from Melbourne and then I pretty much got the call saying, ‘can you get to the airport?’,” Runnalls said.
“I had to quickly drive back home to Melbourne pack up all my stuff and pretty much be on the flight the next night.
“It’s so good to be out of quarantine and in the sunny weather. The first week of quarantine went pretty quick and then it dragged on a bit.
“I was pretty excited though knowing that I’d get to come here to the Club when I got out, so that got me through.
“I was lucky enough that the Club brought me a treadmill for quarantine, so I had sessions on that as well as some weights.”
Runnalls joined the Fremantle playing group on Saturday for her first training session in purple.
It was her first chance to meet her new Freo teammates and coaches in person for the first time.
“The girls have all been really welcoming,” Runnalls said.
“It was good to meet everyone, obviously doing a time trial wasn’t the best thing! But, it was great to kick the footy around.
“The coaches have been awesome at making me feel right at home and I spoke to them a lot before I came over, so it was great to finally meet them in person.”
And, as for the player she was most star-struck to meet?
“Probably Kiara Bowers, she is a freak and seeing her run was insane,” Runnalls said.