Bulldog Barwick’s battling year ends in ultimate joy

NEW AFLW Bulldog Brooke Barwick has certainly had a tough year after rupturing her ACL, but it was all capped off for her on Monday night by being selected the fourth pick overall in the 2023 AFLW Draft.

“It’s such a surreal moment, knowing that I didn’t play and I was still such a high pick and this is the dream, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity the Dogs have given me” she said.

“There’s just so many mixed emotions. Excitement but nerve wracking, but also just ready to put the foot down and get into it.”

Barwick said that she was keen to join the team and gain some knowledge.

“To learn their structure and their values and learn off the people that have gone before me, and just really put my head down and be competitive and do what the coach says, and I’m so excited to just be the best version of myself for the club,” she said.

Unlike many of the draftees on Monday night, Barwick knew that as a Tasmanian “since I was a little girl and realised if I wanted to play AFLW I had to consider the fact that I had to move away.” However, she also said that she feels “content with that and I know that I’ll be really supported with my family and friends and by the club as well, so I’m ready.”

The move will certainly be made easier for her by the fact she will not be the only Tasmanian heading to Victoria, with state team mates Georgia Clark and Mackenzie Ford also drafted by Victorian clubs.

“Its amazing, so surreal,” she said. “I sent them a message and we’re just all excited to be in the same state together and again it’s having that bit of comfort with you, and being comfortable outside footy will help you inside of footy, so knowing that I can catch up with them outside of the club will be amazing.”

Barwick has watch her home state’s footy pipeline transform to become a true draft target for clubs, and she loves how much the program has grown especially since the Covid pandemic.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I think it was such a surreal experience and watching your club succeed is the best feeling you can get, and I think having fun off the field with the girls implements on the field and that’s what we did, so we played really well and hopefully that’s a good start for Tassie and the juniors coming through.”

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