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Fremantle rookie Lindal Rohde is reaping the rewards of her first year in football, named the Cath Boyce Rookie of the Year at the inaugural WAFLW awards at Optus Stadium on Monday night.
Rohde filled Fremantle’s final AFLW rookie spot in June this year and has impressed for Subiaco in the WAFLW state competition since.
The tall, athletic winger shared the Rookie of the Year honour with Claremont’s Jessica Low.
Rohde relished the opportunity to line up alongside Subiaco captain and fellow Freo teammate Hayley Miller throughout the 2019 WAFLW season.
“I think for me it’s absolutely a learning experience this whole year,” Rohde said.
“The award is a great recognition, but it’s more a testament to the fact that I’m heading on the right track heading into AFLW (in season 2020).
“The chance to combine with Hayley (Miller) in the midfield is really valuable and it just tells me that I’m on the right track and ticking off a few boxes.”
Rohde comes from a strong netball background, training with the West Coast Fever for a number of years, before swapping the round ball for a footy.
“I’ve really enjoyed learning a new game completely,” Rohde said.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by some really knowledgeable people and this award is probably more a testament to them than it is to me.”
Fremantle’s AFLW talent featured well at the awards night, with Miller receiving the Dhara Kerr Fairest and Best award for the 2019 WAFLW season.
Miller lauded Rohde’s first year of football and was impressed with her adaption to the game.
“Lindal brings a lot of run and carry, she plays on the wing and can run all day,” Miller said.
“She is going to bring us a lot of endurance, she has got a great tank on her and a massive kick, so she’ll be supplying our forwards with some good footy.
“Lindal is probably the most improved player from round 1 (of the WAFLW) to the end of the season so it’ll be interesting to see what she can do from here.”
Subiaco fell to the Kara Donnellan coached Swan Districts in last Saturday’s preliminary final at Leederville Oval.
While Subiaco will miss out on this weekend’s WAFLW grand final, Rohde is already looking ahead to the step up that a possible AFLW debut in 2020 will bring.
“It was a step up from the WAFLW regular season to finals and I can only imagine that AFLW will bring that next step up,” Rohde said.
“It’s about getting my body right and preparing myself to have an impact on the game.
“I’ll be making sure I’m coachable and learning off all of those great players and coaches around me so, I’m soaking it all in.”