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AFLW Draft: Duffy’s nerves make way for joy

Sabreena Duffy was drafted with pick no.17. Fremantle AFLW recruit Sabreena Duffy was greeted by captain Kara Donnellan at her home, after she was picked in the 2018 NAB AFLW Draft.

Sabreena Duffy was one of the favourites to be selected in the early rounds of Tuesday’s NAB AFLW Draft, but that didn’t make the morning any easier for the 18-year-old. 

The midfielder/defender came into the draft with impressive credentials, starring as the WA captain at the 2018 U18 AFLW National Championships where she was named All Australian at half-back.

But the 15-year Fremantle member – who has a life-size sticker of Matthew Pavlich on the outside of her bedroom door - admitted to feeling more than nervous as she waited for her name to be called out.

She didn’t have to wait too long, with Freo selecting her at no.17 from the Peel Thunderbirds.

“I didn’t even eat breakfast because I was scared but I’m glad that it’s out of the way now,” Duffy said.

“I instantly started crying. It’s surreal, and it still hasn’t hit me.

“It will probably hit me when I have some time by myself this afternoon and I have time to think about it.”

Duffy had a taste of what it meant to be an AFLW player when training at the club as a part of the 10-week Fremantle Dockers women’s academy program.

To Duffy, making the AFLW ranks means having an opportunity to take her game to the elite level.

“It’s an honour and I can’t wait to get stuck into the hard work,” Duffy said.

“(The academy) was an eye-opener on all the hard work that’s to come. 

“I’m really grateful I have the opportunity to do that, to put myself at the elite level and to hold myself accountable.”

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