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Devlyn realises impossible dream

Beatrice Devlyn kicked Freo's first goal in the win against the Crows. All the best goals from the trail match between Adelaide in Darwin.

The world is full of kids and their dreams of one day being an astronaut, prime minister or even a rock star.

For a young Beatrice Devlyn, her dreams were just as grand, but especially unlikely.

To her credit, she refused to be discouraged by her gender - and now finds herself on the Fremantle Dockers’ AFLW list.

“I’m the biggest Dockers fan!” said Devlyn, 18, who has been a member of the club since she was six.

“I remember when I was about eight I wrote this little sign saying I was going to play for Fremantle one day, and here we are now. I’m overjoyed.”

Devlyn has shone in local football, particularly at junior level, winning WA’s Youth Girls’ Best and Fairest award for three years running.

Overlooked in the inaugural draft, Devlyn received another opportunity in late 2016.

All of Fremantle’s new AFLW recruits underwent a medical examination after signing on. Unfortunately for midfielder Emily Bonser, scans revealed she had played the 2016 WAWFL season for Swan Districts with not one, but two ACL injuries.

Devlyn clearly felt for Bonser, but knew she had to take her chance.

“Unfortunately Emily hurt both of her knees doing her ACL,” Devlyn said.

“So (head coach) Michelle (Cowan) gave me the call up and said we need a couple of people to train on and fill the hole.”

The call saw Devlyn training with the club as a part of the state academy, knowing that if she impressed she could find herself on an AFLW list.

With her life dream on the line, Devlyn remained composed and trusted in her abilities.

“I was a little bit (nervous), but Michelle said she was going to give me a couple sessions so it wasn’t make or break,” Devlyn said.

“I just backed myself in, as well as the confidence she had in me. So I took it from there, and now I’m on the list.

“I was lucky enough after a couple of sessions to get the call from Michelle, and she said I was on the team – it was the best news I’ve ever had.”

Devlyn is the youngest on Fremantle’s AFLW list by over a year, and is the only member of the squad to hail from South Fremantle’s WAWFL club.

As a local, Devlyn has the added advantage of being able to train and play close to home, and she hopes to bring in a bit of local support, too.

“The new training facility (at Cockburn Central West) is just down the road from where I live so it’s just awesome,” Devlyn said.

“I drive past it a lot, it looks pretty cool so I can’t wait get out there and hopefully lots of people come down and watch us train, it’ll be good.”

At the new training base, Devlyn will share the same facilities as the men’s team that she’s followed for the past 12 years.

While she highlighted Nat Fyfe as an “absolute gun”, she’s even more excited to run out alongside stars from her own team.

“Obviously Kara Donnellan, she’s a superstar in everything she does,” Devlyn said.

“And ‘Turbo’ (Kiara Bowers) is a star, and the way she’s carrying herself after her injury is something that you really want to push and drive to be like.”

“I’ve played with quite a few of them before. There are a couple of girls I didn’t really know but they’ve all made me feel at home. It’s a really welcoming place.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs