Midfielder Courtney Stubbs is set to play her first AFL Women’s game, named in Fremantle’s starting 21 for Saturday night’s clash with Adelaide at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
Stubbs was drafted from Subiaco with pick no.39 in the 2018 NAB AFL Women’s Draft and joins Gabby O’Sullivan as Freo’s inclusions, who is returning from suspension.
The pair come in for Hayley Miller (suspended) and Brianna Moyes (knee).
Stubbs found out the news when the Perth College teacher was surprised in the staff room by senior coach Trent Cooper at recess on Thursday.
“To have this opportunity is awesome. I was hoping that it would happen soon and to have it broken to me that way by Trent was really exciting,” Stubbs said.
An unbeaten Fremantle team can expect a significant test against Adelaide, who sit just one win behind Freo in Conference A.
The two teams have already faced off at TIO Stadium this year in a pre-season game, with Adelaide running out 20-point winners in slippery and humid conditions.
Stubbs said she can take a lot from her experience playing in the pre-season clash.
“I’m super excited, obviously I’ve been lucky enough to have a pretty similar game a couple weeks ago,” Stubbs said.
“Hopefully, that will be a bit of an advantage knowing what the conditions will be like.
“I’m really excited to get up there and make my debut and give it a red hot crack.”
Cooper said Freo won’t be underestimating Adelaide but added Freo can take confidence from the opening three rounds.
“Adelaide are a really formidable outfit,” Cooper said.
“They were really impressive last week against Geelong and they beat us quite comfortably in Darwin a few weeks ago.
“We think we’ve learnt a lot since then and are playing better footy, so we’re hopeful we can take it up to them this week.”
Bouncedown for the clash is at 8.05pm CST (6.35pm WST) and will be broadcast live into Perth on 7mate and FoxFooty from 6.30pm.
TEAM V ADELAIDE
Backs: Evie Gooch, Laura Pugh, Angelique Stannett
Half back: Alex Williams, Ebony Antonio, Kara Donnellan
Centre: Philipa Seth
Half forward: Gemma Houghton, Ashley Sharp, Gabby O’Sullivan
Forward: Kiara Bowers, Kellie Gibson, Mel Caulfield
Ruck/followers: Parris Laurie, Dana Hooker, Stephanie Cain
Interchange: Tayla Bresland, Katie-Jayne Grieve, Ashlee Atkins, Courtney Stubbs, Sabreena Duffy
Emergencies: Leah Mascall, Jasmin Stewart