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United by Purple

AFLW: Turbo’s desire to repay the faith

AFLW: 'I bleed purple' - Bowers Kiara Bowers opens up about the hard times of rehab and the exciting opportunity to finally pull on a Fremantle jumper.

Sunday’s NAB AFL Women’s season opener against Melbourne at Casey fields will be a day that both Kiara Bowers and Fremantle fans have long waited for.

When Fremantle were first granted a licence for the inaugural AFLW season, they quickly snapped up Bowers – a five-time winner of the WAWFL Fairest and Best award – as a marquee player.

But a knee injury during the 2016 WAWFL finals series set off a chain of events that would see the gun midfielder miss the opening two seasons.

It’s safe to say that no-one will be hungrier to get started this season than the player affectionately known as ‘Turbo’.

“I’m pumped. It’s been a long time coming and honestly, I can’t wait for it,” Bowers said.

“It would be the biggest lie ever told if I said (two years in injury rehabilitation) was easy.

“I had days where I struggled big time but what are you going to do, sit down and get in the dumps or get up and work hard to come back and that’s definitely what I did.

“I can’t wait to reap the rewards this Sunday.”

While it’s clear Bowers has a personal motivation to make an impact this season, she also feels a strong desire to repay her family, friends, teammates and the Freo fans for their support.

“We say at the club that we bleed purple and I truly believe that,” Bowers said.

“I never want to be at another club, this club has done so much for me over the time, even though I haven’t been able to play for them.

“I can’t wait to give back to the club that has stood by me and pulling that guernsey on will mean the world to me.

“I’ll make sure that I go out there with the fans in mind and do my bit for this club.”

Bowers dominated a club 2km time trial during the pre-season and is hopeful she will be able to run rings around her opponents on gameday.

“I want to be that person that gets 15 tackles in a game and hits up the forwards with short kicks,” Bowers said.

“I’ll make sure that I don’t let anyone get past me, that’s for sure.”

Bowers added that she hopes she will be able to keep her emotions under wraps in the lead-up to the game.

“You know what, I might cry a little bit but I might just hide it and make sure there’s no cameras around, but I’m excited to pull the Freo jumper on more than anything.”

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