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Wardlaw’s dream to become a reality

After missing the second game of the Lions QW Winter series Jesse Wardlaw is itching to play in front of the Gabba’s goals. 

“Everyone I’ve talked to can’t wait to get out there, it’s just going to be an amazing opportunity for us to be out there at the Gabba in front of Brisbane Lions fans,” Wardlaw said.

Wardlaw, now recovered from her shin injury, is thankful she can now turn her dream of playing at the Gabba into a reality.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play there and to think it’s only a couple of days away is crazy,” she said. 

“I’m just excited to get back out there I don’t want to have to think about my injury or the last seven weeks, I just want to get back out there and play how I remember.” 

This Saturday is the first time the Lions will play an official match at the Gabba and Wardlaw says it will be a surreal experience.  

“We’ve never really been able to take one step on the Gabba and for us to train on it the other night was an unreal feeling,” she said.   

Not letting the opportunity pass, Wardlaw has been doing everything possible to be ready for the final QW match. 

“I have had a lot of physio treatment and a lot of rehab and I’m back running and running with load so, I’m feeling really good and ready for Saturday,” she said.

“I might be a little rusty considering my first game will be at the Gabba and it will be such a huge game, but I’m just excited to get back out there.”

Named Brisbane Lions Rookie of the year for the 2019 AFLW season Wardlaw is striving to replicate her breakthrough season and not miss an AFLW game.

“At the start I was just focused on playing Round One, but to play all the games was a huge achievement,” she said.

“There is a lot of young talent coming through so it is going to be a competitive environment and no one is guaranteed games so I’m still going to have to work hard to secure my spot.”

Playing alongside her mentors at both a club and professional level Wardlaw is treasuring the experience, saying she can’t wait for the 2020 season. 

“I looked up to a lot of them coming up the pathway and I’ve still got so much to learn having Emma Zielke and Jess Wuetschner in my Coorparoo team they have really helped me learn and develop as a player,” she said.

The Lions AFLW team will take on the Gold Coast SUNS at the Gabba this Saturday at 2:00pm. Entry is free but attendees need to pre-register here.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs