“It’s a really good place to be.”

Those were the words of a 20-year-old Bailey Hunt, just one game into her AFLW career at VU Whitten Oval.

Now aged 27 and on the even of her 50th game as a Bulldog, it’s fair to say those words have withstood the test of time.

Hunt arrived at the Kennel with Pick 60 in the 2016 Draft, having played footy for a handful of years at Montmorency Junior Football Club.

She watched that draft via a livestream on her phone, and only discovered upon returning home from work that she was officially an AFLW player.


“I always loved footy as kid, but there were never any pathways,” Hunt said in 2017.

“I never even thought of playing footy for a women’s team. I didn't expect it at all.

“A year ago, I probably didn't even think that I would get drafted.”

Fast forward seven years, and Hunt is not only an AFLW player – she’s a Premiership player and the co-vice captain.

Each of her 49 games to date have been unique.

But when asked about the kind of person she is, or what she brings to the team, common themes emerged among her teammates.


“I’d describe Bailey as a very, very kind soul, a beautiful person and a really hard-working player that puts her all in,” Daisy Bateman said.

“She’s one of those teammates you always want to celebrate. Everyone just wants to get around her because she gets around everyone else. She’s our people’s person.”

Gabby Newton said Hunt was “one of the most hard-working, generous and unselfishly kind people” she’s ever met, as did Ellie Blackburn: “she’s probably one of the most lovely and kind human beings I’ve ever come across in my entire life”.

“She’s got all the time in the world for you, but the funny thing about Bailey is that she’s actually quite the opposite on-field,” fellow defender Katie Lynch said.

“She gets mad white-line fever but that’s why we love her so much. You always know she is going to be a ferocious competitor.”

“She’s the ultimate teammate – she’s genuine, she’s caring, she’s kind. If you ever need to know where to be, what time or what to wear, she’ll tell the group and make sure that everyone is feeling loved and welcomed,” said Deanna Berry.

“She’s a beautiful friend and I cherish every single moment with her. I love that she gets to play her 50th game.”

It’s been a journey of resilience, perseverance and determination for Hunt, and she’s come a long way since that first-ever Rising Star nomination in round one, 2017.

Let’s hope her 50th game is as memorable as her first.