Their chemistry on the field for the Sharks will continue, after Kirby Bentley (pick 9) Melissa Caulfield (15), both Canning Vale residents, and Stephanie Walding (43), from Fremantle, were all selected in the Melbourne team to take on the Western Bulldogs on June 29 as part of the AFL’s women’s round.
They were among 11 WA women selected.
Walding said she was surprised when her name came up. ‘There are so many talented footballers, both in WA and around the country, so I thought I wouldn’t have a chance,’ she said.
‘I was actually listening out for my teammates’ names and was a bit shocked to hear my name and I didn’t realise the gravity of it all until afterwards, when so many people were talking about it, making me feel extremely honoured to be involved.’
Walding said it would be great playing alongside her two teammates on the big stage and was excited to be a part of history. ‘I have the privilege of playing alongside them most weeks, so to be chosen in the same team as them in the draft is fantastic,’ she said.
‘We all want to play to the best of our ability and show everyone just how far women’s football has come.’
WA Football Commission Pathways and Competition director Grant Dorrington said the national draft was a result of a big investment from the WAFC, the AFL and clubs into women’s football over the past 25 years.
The game will be held as the curtain-raiser to the round 14 AFL match between Melbourne and the Bulldogs in Melbourne on June 29.