Sophie Conway looks set to start her 2022 season with a bang, with the 22-year-old on the cusp of her 25th milestone game.
Her selection in Craig Starcevich’s best 22 this week means she’ll join an elite group of players at the club to notch up the milestone.
“It’s definitely been a bit of a journey to get to 25 games,” Conway said.
“I’m heading into my 5th AFLW season, and I’ve had one hell of a ride, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t change anything for it.”
A hell of a ride is one way to describe it.
From an All-Australian squad inclusion in just her second AFLW season, to a Premiership title, to a season ending ACL injury, Conway has experienced the full spectrum of emotions that AFLW can offer.
Reflecting on her 25 games, the versatile star says she wouldn’t trade the experience for a second.
“It’s all made me the player and the athlete I am today,”
“Looking back there’s a fair few favourite memories. Obviously, number one would be the Premiership, but apart from that, I feel like there’s nothing more special than making your debut and kicking a goal in Adelaide.”
“That was a pretty unreal experience, and to have both my brothers and my Dad in the grandstand, that was pretty surreal.”
Family has played a big part in Conway’s AFLW journey, with her Dad rarely missing a game.
“To have Dad at pretty much every game possible means a lot to me.”
“My family is a great support network to me, not just my Dad but also my two brothers.”
“Unfortunately, I lost my Mum just before I got drafted, so unfortunately mum doesn’t know that I’ve been able to pull on the Lions’ guernsey. Dad definitely fills the shoes for both."
2021 was yet another strong year for the Lions star, capped off with a AFLW Premiership title.
Building upon her 2020 breakout season, Conway put together some of her strongest performances to date to make a name for herself on the wing.
A Premiership medal will be hard to top, but Conway’s hoping 2022 will be an even bigger season for the Lions.
“I’ve cherished every moment so far, and fingers crossed for another big season with the girls.”
“At the end of the week, hopefully I will have played 25 games and I’d like to say I’ll play over 100 more.”