Northern Knights star Britney Gutknecht took the next step in her footballing career on Saturday, making her VFLW debut.
After finishing up a successful under-age career earlier this year, the 18-year-old stepped out with Carlton against Melbourne Uni.
It was a tough day for the Blues, who lost 12.9 (81)-5.5 (35).
Speaking last week before she was named in the team, Gutknecht said she was enjoying her time at Carlton.
“It’s been good,” she said.
“It’s relatively the same to the Knights, it’s just getting to know people now.
“It’s good being with the older girls, who show you tricks.”
Gutknecht’s debut for the Blues capped off a stunning year in which she played a key role in the Northern Knights NAB League Girls premiership and finished second behind captain Gabby Newton in the club’s best and fairest award. Newton also made her debut for the Blues on Saturday.
Gutknecht said while it was sad to leave the Knights after three years, to finish it with a premiership was special.
She finished with 14 possessions in the grand final.
“After the heartbreak of last year, it made it even more pleasing.”
She said her leadership skills had developed most in her time at the Knights.
Gutknecht didn’t have much time to rest after her season with the Knights, named in the Vic Metro squad for the second year in a row.
She was one of seven Knights players to play in the national carnival this year.
Gutknecht was named in Vic Metro’s first two games, as the Vic Metro side went through the carnival undefeated.
“They are a good bunch of girls,” she said.
“The group was a lot closer this year.
“Being a top-age player I had more confidence this year.
“I was happy with how I went.”
The midfielder-forward started playing football five years ago at Laurimar in the Northern Football League.
She said she still tries to get to her junior club when she has the chance.
“I started playing football five years ago,” she said.
“Friends from school told me to come down to training.”
Gutknecht said she would love to make the next step into AFLW next year.
She said she would work on her all-round game between now and the AFLW draft.
“When I first started, AFLW wasn’t on my mind as it didn’t exist,” she said.
“I’m going to focus on areas to improve my game.”
“It’s now one of my dreams.”