Krstel Petrevski wants to be a role model for girls back home in the Kimberley in Western Australia.
Petrevski, who grew up in Halls Creek before moving to Melbourne nearly four years ago for school, realised her football dream last month.
The 18-year-old was selected by Melbourne at pick 78 in the AFLW draft.
Watching the draft on television, Petrevski said she couldn’t believe it had happened.
“It’s honestly unreal,” she said. “I haven’t wiped the smile off my face. When it was called out I couldn’t believe it and I was speechless.
“I was hoping everyone was watching back home as they are my biggest supporters.
“I was on FaceTime all draft day. I’m so blessed and loved.”
Petrevski spoke to Melbourne the day before the draft, but said she had no indication that they were going to pick her up.
She was nervous heading into the draft, with injuries ruining her season with the Cannons. She played eight games.
“I started very well and played the first three games, unfortunately I had a few injuries,” she said.
“I hyper-extended my knee and missed a few games. With a short season, I didn’t think I had played enough games.
“I had hoped that AFLW clubs had seen what I could do.”
Petrevski then got the opportunity to play three games with Essendon in the VFLW.
Happy with her performance, she said it was a really good experience and another shot at showing recruiters what she could do. “The transition from Calder to Essendon was really good,” she said.
“Essendon is united and works hard. They are driven to play at higher levels and made me feel super welcome.
“They were pushing me and helping me strive to get better.”
AFLW is a long way from Halls Creek in the Kimberly in Western Australia, where Petrevski grew up.
She made the move to Melbourne for her education. In the back of her mind, it was also the home of football.
“I grew up playing with the boys,” she said. “I didn’t play a girls game of football until I came to Melbourne. I always dreamed of playing football. “I couldn’t believe that so many girls played football, it was an eye-opener.“
Petrevski said it was exciting to see football grow in her home town.
With girls competitions starting off she knows many will look up to her.
“I’m the first girl drafted from the Kimberley and Halls Creek,” she said. “
I’m honoured and Petrevski hopes to inspire it’s close to my heart. There’s a pathway for them coming through. I want to be a role model for the younger generation.”
Petrevski has plenty of family members to look to for advice, with seven players on AFL lists this year. “I’m really close to every single one of them,” she said.
“They’ve really guided me and helped me on the journey. They have reached the high level and pushed me.
“They give me inside tips and keep me wanting to strive.
“Toby Bedford is at the club [Melbourne] with me and Sam [Petrevski-Seton] is at Carlton. I spend a lot of time with them.”
Petrevski isn’t sure when she starts at the Demons, but is keen to get involved as soon as possible.
“When I got drafted I went down the club and met a few of the girls,” she said. “I can’t wait to learn off them and develop as a player and person, so keen.”