Earning a spot on the Western Bulldogs’ AFLW senior list begins the start of a new chapter in Naomi Ferres’ football journey.
Ferres was upgraded to the club’s AFLW senior list on Thursday and is now in contention to line-up for the Bulldogs when they take on Fremantle on Sunday.
“It’s pretty exciting. I just sort of came into this program to develop and know that I probably wasn’t going to get many games but to know that I can now play and run out there (is a surreal feeling),” Ferres told westernbulldogs.com.au.
“I was sort of expecting maybe towards the end of the season once all the games were done but before the first round is pretty shocking.”
Ferres spent her childhood playing football with the boys, moving to youth girls football when she turned 13.
The Bulldogs scouted 20-year-old Ferres from the VU Western Spurs in the VFLW, taken with pick #3 in the 2017 AFLW Rookie Draft.
Ferres said the knowledge gained from the practice match against Carlton a fortnight ago will hold her and the team in good stead on the eve of round one.
“It was awesome, I loved it out there,” she said.
“It was a surreal experience. It was a lot different to what I was used to playing at with the crowd. I just loved being out there.
“It gave us an opportunity to set our plans out and I think we executed them pretty well.”
A strength of Ferres’ is her versatility and physicality with an ability to be able to play half forward, half back but predominately on the wing.
“I like the space you get on the wing to be able to run up and down the ground as much as you want.
“(Grovesy’s) told me to stick to my strengths, making sure that I do break the lines and I do use my speed.”
The Bulldogs will open their 2018 AFLW campaign at Victoria University Whitten Oval against Fremantle on Sunday at 4.35pm.