If getting drafted once is exciting, getting drafted for a second time is even more emotional according to Fremantle midfielder Tiah Haynes.
In a moving episode of Kickin’ Back, Haynes described the complete shock she and her now wife Jaki experienced when she was drafted to Fremantle for the second time.
After enduring and recovering from a third knee reconstruction, where she did the bulk of her rehabilitation while working as a Mine Controller on site for BHP, Haynes earned her stripes for a second time when she was selected with pick no.43 in the 2020 NAB AFL Women’s draft.
While hopeful, Haynes hardly expected to be selected as she watched the draft, while feeling hungover from a work function the previous day.
“I had absolutely no idea. (Senior coach) Trent Cooper and (AFLW manager) Darryn Fry are really good at keeping a poker face,” Haynes said.
“I had a KPIs day with my work the day before, so I’d had a couple of drinks. It was only three or four but I was so sick the next day.
“I hadn’t moved from bed and Jaki messaged me and said she was on her way home, and we just had a new bed delivered. I thought we had to put it together while the draft was on but she said ‘no you sit on the couch and listen to it’.
“I was slowly ticking the picks off and it got to Freo’s last pick and I knew that it was my only chance so I thought, if I didn’t get called I would go and help build the bed.
“Then all of a sudden my name was called and I see this coat hanger come flying past the couch and I hear “BAAAAAAAABE!” and I was in shock! As soon as Jaki came running out of the room, I just lost it, I just started crying. She’s trying to talk to me and I had no words.”

Even after her third knee reconstruction, Haynes never lost the hunger to play football and was determined to shake the ‘injury prone’ tag.
She said working nightshifts on a mine site actually helped her focus on her recovery outside of work hours.
“The third knee was even different I guess. I was in no rush to get back. I wasn’t on a list, I wasn’t playing any sport at that time. I was really able to nut down on that,” Haynes said.
“I was working away at the time with 12 hour shifts and I’ve got nothing to do before and after that, so I thought I may as well get up at 3pm, smash out the gym, go to work and go to bed the next day. For me it was really easy to do those things.”
Haynes said her work mates helped keep her accountable.
"I had to do it…people at work questioned if I wasn’t at the gym before work,” Haynes said.
“So I was like, 'yeah I’m going after work'. I hadn’t planned on it and then all of a sudden I was going. So it made it really easy for me to get my rehab done while I was there.”
Moments after she was drafted, teammate and good friend Alex Williams came around to present Haynes with a Fremantle jumper.
Just seeing Williams, who was Haynes’ bridesmaid at her wedding in January, made the moment even more special.
“Alex lives 57 seconds away from me door to door,” Haynes said.
“She came over to present me a jumper as she was told beforehand to have it just in case. She didn’t talk to me all day. She messaged me in the morning and didn’t reply again.
“I heard someone outside and I was on the phone and heard ‘knock knock’. Alex comes in, I’m a mess, I’m dressed in track pants. I look really unwell and look like I’ve just got out of bed, which I had.
“She came in and as soon as I saw her she whispered in my ear “I’m so proud of you’ and I lost it.”