SWAN Districts star Kara Donnellan is one of three Black Ducks chosen as marquee players in the new women’s Australian Football League.
Donnellan said the chance to play in the national league was a dream come true.
“I started playing in Victoria at Langwarrin – at a boys’ club, until I couldn’t play with them any more,” she said.
“I had always dreamt of playing in a national league but there was no pathway for girls then. Young girls back then would play junior footy at boys clubs.”
Donnellan switched from Langwarrin to a girls’ team and played U18s, before playing her first senior game at age 15.
She came to WA for university studies and women she met through state football encouraged her to try Swan Districts.
“I haven’t looked back since,” she said.
The young midfielder has known she was destined to be a Docker for almost three weeks, but kept her exciting news under wraps until the big announcement last week.
“I had a few conversations with the Dockers four or five weeks ago,” she said.
“Every AFL club had to nominate five top players they wanted, and were able to have two. It was quite hard to keep it hush hush… I am pleased it is out now.”
At 24, Donnellan is entering her prime as a footy player and could have a long career ahead.
Fellow Swan Districts players Kellie Gibson and Chelsea Randall have been picked as marquees by Adelaide Crows, reflecting the depth of the Black Ducks.
Eight of the 16 marquee players selected by clubs in the new AFL women’s competition are from WA.
As well as the Swan Districts trio, South Fremantle’s Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Emma Swanson are heading to Brisbane and Greater Western Sydney (GWS); and Emma King, Kiara Bowers and Renee Forth from Coastal Titans are joining Collingwood, Fremantle and GWS.