First-gamer Issy Grant says she was ‘absolutely stoked’ to win her debut AFLW match on Friday night against Geelong.
The Club’s inaugural father-daughter selection was taken with pick number 47 in the 2019 draft, but sidelined for the entirety of the shortened 2020 season after suffering a toe injury and battling glandular fever.
Despite the hiccups in her first season as a Western Bulldogs player, Grant was finally rewarded for her pre-season work with a call-up against Geelong.
She recorded eight disposals and one mark, even selling some candy with her first touch of the night.
“Oh I’m absolutely stoked,” Grant told westernbulldogs.com.au following the round three 15-point win at GMHBA Stadium.
“We had a good little celebration (in the rooms) with the girls, so I’m just super excited to firstly get a win but also help out the team.”
The Bulldogs held the advantage for most of the low-scoring affair on Friday night, before a late Cats’ goal put them within a single point at three-quarter time.
The 19-year-old admits she was quite nervous in those moments, relying on some more experienced heads to remain calm.
“I was pretty stressed to be honest – ‘Brookey’ (Brooke Lochland) was giving me quite a bit of guidance and keeping me composed” Grant said.
‘Lamby’ (Kirsty Lamb) too, so I’m just really grateful for them helping me out because I was a bit all over the shop.”
While there was much to like about Grant’s first hit-out in the red, white and blue, a sweet video of her surprising her father – Bulldogs legend and current head of football, Chris – with the news of her debut sent social media crazy pre-game.
With the help of her mother and younger brother recording, she handed her father a ‘present’ – which she claimed “had been a long time in the making” and something “a lot of people had contributed to”.
When he unwrapped the box, inside was a Bulldogs’ guernsey with his prized number three on the back.
“It was so special,” Grant recalls of the surprise.
“I didn’t really realise in the moment, but looking back I’m really glad we captured that moment.
“I’m so excited that I can wear this jumper and represent (Dad’s) name.”
The AFLW Bulldogs will look to record their third consecutive win this Sunday afternoon, returning to the Kennel for a round four battle against the undefeated Melbourne.
While the AFL awaits State Government advice as to whether crowds will be permitted, you can still show your support for the AFLW Bulldogs by signing up as a member for as little as $50 per adult.