Recently-signed AFLW player Annabel Strahan says she is “pinching herself” at the opportunity to represent the red, white and blue in 2021.
And not only because the 18-year-old basketball convert’s AFLW dream is one step closer to being a reality, but also because she is now part of the same club as the player she loves to watch most; AFL captain Marcus Bontempelli.
“I’ve seen that Marcus played a bit of basketball too, so I can see some similarities in his hand skills, and also his vision on the field,” Strahan told westernbulldogs.com.au.
“Just how he finds people either side of his body and gets his team in the best position – I obviously want to be able to go out there and do that.
“He’s amazing to watch as a team player.”
Initially overlooked on draft night last year, the Bendigo Pioneers product said just being in draft contention was something to proud of, considering she only switched to footy two years ago.
“I didn’t even think I’d get to that point (on draft night), because I had only just started playing footy and wasn’t really expecting to get that far,” Strahan said.
Strahan played elite junior basketball and represented Victoria Country at national level before turning her focus to footy, admitting she fell out of love with her old sport.
“I wasn’t really enjoying basketball that much anymore – doing their high performance stuff was a bit too much for me,” she said.
“I was moving to Bendigo and wanted a fresh start, and saw a couple of my friends had started playing local footy and were loving it.
“I went down to local club Golden Square and once I started thought ‘I just want to keep doing this, I love it so much’.”
Strahan will wear guernsey number 35, and fills the list spot left vacant by Katy Herron who elected not to return to the Bulldogs in 2021.