Fremantle’s Kate Flood couldn’t speak more highly of the club after her first season in the AFLW.
The Irish recruit, who plays Gaelic football for County Louth, has returned home for the off-season and said she already misses working and playing at Freo.
The talented forward has taken to her new sport well, kicking five goals in her seven games in her debut season – the third most at Freo.
Gaelic Football is an amateur sport at the top level in Ireland for both the men’s and women’s ranks, and Flood said she was blown away after working in a professional environment.
“It’s incredible, what I’ve been telling people, they don’t believe me half of the time,” Flood told the Louth and Proud podcast.
“Everything is managed, if you had a really tough session they will pull you back.
“If you’re doing heavy loads or if you’re not running enough, it’s all monitored on GPS. It’s really professional in that manner.
“It’s not just running and gym training. There’s nutritionists, anything you could think of. If you’re feeling down there’s people to talk to. Everything you would want in a professional club is there.”
Flood added that being ‘professional’ didn’t mean taking the training and work too seriously.
She praised the club for ensuring that players can have fun while they work to reach the highest level.
“It might be professional but it’s really enjoyable at the same time,” Flood said.
“Sometimes you go in for a training session that’s just for a bit of craic, a bit of fun.
“There’s a lot of emphasis on it being enjoyable.
“Back home training is more tough. There’s no pure running seven kilometre runs, sprints, or running up and down hills.
“Everything is done with a ball and everything is monitored so you can see how you’re progressing and getting fitter.”
Flood said she was pleased to see how much the club and fans are embracing the AFLW, adding she couldn't wait for the Covid-19 pandemic to ease with hopes of returning in 2021.
“We feel on par with the men,” Flood said.
“We’ve even trained together at times but it’s mostly done separately.
“The boys would be in early in the morning and train and have meetings until about 2.30.
“They’re in when we’re not in, and as soon as they’re out we have the time to come in. As soon as we’re in the men can’t use the facilities.
“There is that split but the club is more as one but we still respect each other.
“And the men are respecting us because they know all the work and time and effort that we put in.
“The men will come and support us, everyone who works for the club are there at the games cheering us on.
“There’s no ‘we’d rather watch the men’ attitude at the club, you’re level with each other over there and it’s really good to see and it’s really good to be a part of.”