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New recruit ready to ace the AFLW world

Sarah Black, AFL Media  October 23, 2017 2:34 PM

AFLW Draftee: Krystal Scott Welcome to the Den, Krystal Scott, one of our picks in the AFLW Rookie Draft.

Tennis to football does not seem to be a straightforward progression.

But Brisbane's latest AFLW recruit, rookie Krystal Scott, has managed to make it work.

The medium-sized forward has only played 10 official football games for Bond University in division one of the QWFA and has yet to taste defeat. She kicked 18 goals this season, including a haul of five in just her second game.

Only recently the 23-year-old was touring the country as a tennis player.

Having started playing tennis fulltime at the age of 16, Scott spent two years at Norfolk State University in Virginia (on the east coast of America) with a tennis scholarship.

"The last year's probably been the most transformational in my life, it's completely done a 180, that's for sure," Scott said.

"It's very surreal, I don't think it's hit me yet."

With four older brothers who are all keen footballers, the sport wasn't exactly foreign to Scott as she was growing up, originally in South Australia. Her family moved to the Gold Coast 15 years ago.

"I've been kicking a footy since I can remember. Every afternoon after school I'd drag out a friend or my uncle or brother and I'd force them to kick it.

"I'd run my own commentary as I was going, so it's been something that I really loved, but this year – as soon as the AFLW became a talking point – it's been in the back of my mind to pursue it.

"When I sat down and thought about it, tennis felt like it had almost run its course, especially as it's an individual sport. The team sport [of footy] stood out for me and I came down to Bond and never looked back, I couldn't love it more."

In the end, it was the daily grind of a solo sport in tennis that triggered a move for Scott.

"This year I decided I needed something different. The training for tennis was full-on. A lot of the time it was twice a day, five or six days a week.

"It was a full commitment and I loved every second of the structural training. Sport's my life, but I felt the individual sport didn't really suit me anymore, and I really felt that team environment would be something I'd really thrive in."

Scott does also enjoy playing on the ball, but has yet to try defence in her short career, a position Lions coach Craig Starcevich has suggested could be an option.

She said her speed and upper-body strength were her biggest assets in tennis, which translate well into football.

"My strength overhead has come from tennis, but there's also a different type of fitness I've had to get used to.

"The constant running in AFL is certainly a different feel to the sharp sprinting in tennis, so that took me a while to get used to.

"But in and around the ball, that agility is exactly what you need in the midfield, you need that quick reflex. To be on your toes, and that's totally natural for me, I've done it for hours every day."

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