Gabby O’Sullivan had more than just a new number on her back in Saturday’s RAC Derby, taking on an unfamiliar role in the midfield in Fremantle’s 28-point RAC Derby win on Saturday.
O’Sullivan last started in the midfield in Fremantle’s first ever AFLW game against the Western Bulldogs at VU Whitten Oval in 2017.
Wearing the number 9 after switching from 22, O’Sullivan started in the midfield against West Coast and had 17 disposals – the second-most for Fremantle, as well as six clearances, six tackles and two marks.
In the latest episode of Kickin’ Back, hosts Haley Miller and Emma O’Driscoll were full of praise for their teammate.
O’Driscoll said O’Sullivan’s brought something extra to Freo’s engine room.
“Let’s talk about Gabby in the midfield. I thought Gabby had a pearler of the game,” O’Driscoll said.
“She was very clean. It’s just that ball winning ability - because you’re obviously really good on the outside Miller, taking those explosive steps and ‘Turbo’ the tackling machine and I think the addition of Gabby worked really well.”
Miller agreed and was impressed with how O’Sullivan made the transition from a forward, taking on the role of Phil Seth who will miss the first half of the season with an ankle injury.
“I love her in the midfield,” Miller said.
“It certainly complements our midfield and I think it worked really well in there.
“It’s disappointing that Phil was injured and she’s trained our whole pre-season in that midfield and Gabby’s literally came in in the last week and has just taken it.
“She’d done a bit of midfield before, but to take it on that quickly and to go in there and play a full game pretty much as a midfielder is…it’s daunting to do without the preparation but she took it real well.”
O’Sullivan is likely to continue in the role when she returns to VU Whitten this Sunday, when Fremantle take on GWS in what will be a ‘home’ game for Freo.
Bouncedown for the clash is at 5.10pm EST (2.10pm WST) and will be played as a double header, with West Coast and Gold Coast commencing at 12.40pm EST (9.40am WST).