By Renee Ciesla
Fremantle footballer Gabby O’Sullivan has become the second rookie to be announced by the new Fremantle Dockers Women’s league team.
The 22-year-old will be a part of history, as she becomes the fourth player selected by the new club ahead of next year’s inaugural women’s national competition.
Gabby said she’s still coming to terms with the announcement.
“It was really exciting and even now I’m still overwhelmed by it all, I just feel really lucky to have this opportunity,” she said.
Her football career began at the junior level, but the absence of a youth girl’s competition at the time gave her few opportunities to progress further.
“I did play footy as a kid but I didn’t see any pathways for it so I gave it up at 12 and got straight into my basketball,” Gabby said.
“I was playing basketball in America for the last three years and heard about the women’s football league when I got home so I went down to East Fremantle and had a go.”
Playing just six games for the Sharks, including the grand final, was enough to impress a number of clubs.
“I had a couple of choices of where to go but I had time to decide which state and environment I wanted to be in, which was tough but I chose Freo,” she said.
East Fremantle’s Women’s League President Kate Argent said it’s an exciting time for the players, the competition and particularly young, aspiring female footballers.
“Now they can actually look at these girls as role models and someone to aspire to, rather than sort of looking at their hero AFL players who are all men and going I’d really love to be an AFL player but I can’t,” Mrs Argent said.
“Now it’s ‘I can and I will’, which is just incredible for the sport and for women in general.”