The phone was running hot last Tuesday for Northern Knights defender Ciara Fitzgerald as she realised her AFLW dream.

Not invited to the actual draft, Fitzgerald was unsure whether she would be drafted.

Richmond, though, had seen enough and selected her at pick 87.

Fitzgerald said it was exciting to hear her name called out. She said she was nervous before the draft.

“I can’t believe it,” she said.

“I was at home with the family watching and I was so excited when my name was called out.

“I jumped up and screamed. I’ve had call after call, I can’t keep up.”

Fitzgerald said while she had spoken to Richmond before the draft, she wasn’t too confident that she would get picked, having not been invited to the draft combine and missing selection for Vic Metro.

“I thought maybe it wasn’t going to happen.”

Fitzgerald said while she didn’t think she had her best season.

But she was a key pillar in the Knights defence as they made a second straight grand final, and won their first premiership.

Fitzgerald, who improved as the season went on, has been part of the Knights program all three years.

“I thought if I had a better season, I could put myself out there.

“I worked hard and tried to enjoy it a bit more.”

Richmond was impressed with her ability to intercept and send the ball forward.

As well as being with the Knights, Fitzgereald signed with VFLW side the Darebin Falcons.

She didn’t play a game.

Fitzgerald won’t be the only Northern Knights player in Richmond colours next year with Sarah Sansonetti also being drafted.

The two played together in the backline for the Knights.

“I can’t believe I’m playing with her,” Fitzgerald said.

The 18-year-old comes to the Tigers at an exciting time, with the club fielding a women’s side for the first time.

She said it’s pretty exciting.

“I can’t wait to step out with the girls and see what happens and see what I can do.”