Lin’s long career list not quite written yet

MAKING the AFLW is a huge achievement, but then getting delisted can be a huge shock to the system.

That is the scenario Joanna Lin faced, having experienced both ends of the scale.

Drafted to Collingwood in 2020, she played four seasons at the top before being delisted after the 2023 season.

She said getting delisted was “definitely disappointing” and she was “upset” about it, “but obviously I wasn’t performing on the field as I would have hoped. So I kind of knew it was coming.

“I was definitely disappointed and upset but I wasn’t surprised.”

Despite how things ended, she still says that it “was a dream come true” to get drafted at all.

“I didn’t really know there was opportunity.  But once my name got called out, it was just surreal.

“So many people talk about it, but then being able to actually get there, it’s such a surreal feeling that’s hard to explain.”

She also still speaks very fondly of her time at Collingwood.

“It was a great time,” Lin said. “Honestly, they were like my second family for all the time that I was there. And even still now, I’m still friends with a lot of people, still catch up with them.

“It was just such a great time, inviting environment where you could just be yourself, and just so happened the perk was that you got to play football at the highest level.”

After her time in the AFLW it was time to find a new home for this year’s VFLW season, and thanks to an old friendship she found herself at Casey Fields.

“I’m good friends with Jessie Mulholland [Melbourne’s head of women’s football], and she rang me, told me to go down and do some trainings. I had interest from other clubs and also went to other clubs and train there.

“But it was when I went up to Darwin with one of the other girls and played there and I remembered I just want to have fun playing footy again, and Casey, when I was there, all the girls there were inviting.

“That kind of made me think, ‘oh yeah, this is probably where I could actually find joy for footy again’. “If it wasn’t for Jesse’s call to head down to Casey, I’d probably be somewhere else. “

She may be known as a midfielder these days, but the story of her playing in that position has some cruisy origins.

“My coach put me in there, so I just went with the flow. But honestly I like playing any position so you can kind of track me anywhere,” Lin said.

Despite everything, Lin does still hope to make to the big time again.

“I’d love to return,” she said. “Whether it’s this season, next season, I’m just going to keep pushing myself to get the most of out of me to be able to get back up there.”

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