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Jakobsson right where she belongs

Jakobsson 'absolutely overwhelmed' Carlton Media spoke to Bianca Jakobsson after being selected with Carlton's first selection in the AFL Women's draft.

Bianca Jakobsson has been a Blues supporter her whole life, and always dreamed to one day play AFL for her favourite side. 

That dream came true when she was selected by Carlton at pick 3, which was also the coveted first pick in Victoria, in the AFL Women’s draft last year.

Jakobsson now dons No.35 on her Carlton guernsey, the number she’s stuck with ever since she first picked up a footy.

“One of the girls at primary school got me to play with her,” Jakobsson recalled.

“I think I was 11 at the time, and she told me I had some talent. They gave me the jersey with number 35 on it and I just pulled on that jersey and I never looked back. I just love it.”

As the profile of Women’s AFL has risen, so has Jakobsson’s profile in the game, but it wasn’t an easy path for her to get to where she is now. She spent two years on the sidelines recovering from a serious knee injury and only returned to the elite level last year for the Western Bulldogs in an exhibition game against Western Australia.

True to form, Jakobsson used her return to football to assert herself as one of the best players in women’s footy. She was awarded best-on-ground honours in that match - her first at the elite level since 2013.

“I didn’t want to lose my elite ability, and I did often wonder if I’d get back to that elite level,” she said.

“I kept working and persevering. There was a lot going on in the background, there was the first time an exhibition match got televised and I wasn't playing. Seeing that on TV pushed me harder because I knew I belonged there on the field with those girls.”

Bianca Jakobsson (right) and now Carlton captain Lauren Arnell (No.13) in the 2016 Women's All-Stars Game. (Photo: AFL Media)

Such persistence and resilience in the face of what could of been a career-ending injury shows strength of character to match Jakobsson’s elite skills as a footballer.

Coach Damien Keeping describes Jakobsson as an incredible athlete, who will bring versatility to the Blues this season.

Her ability to take strong contested marks in the forward line but also play a domineering role in the midfield or backline when required makes her a real asset to the Bluebaggers.

For now the focus for Jakobsson is very much on the upcoming season and what she can do to ensure the Blues have a very successful first season in the AFLW.

“I want to bring the strong form I had in 2016 into this season,” she said.

“I just want to be a really strong asset to the team and get some wins on the board for Carlton.”

Bianca Jakobsson has enjoyed a strong pre-season at her beloved Blues. (Photo: AFL Media)

Jakobsson is also aware that all eyes will be on her as the highest pick in Victoria, but they are expectations she’s taking in her stride.

“I think we’re all equal. I’m at Carlton now and whether you’re the marquee or rookie, we’re all equal and I just want us to play good footy and be the best we can be.”

Carlton hosts Collingwood at Ikon Park from 7:45pm on Friday night in the NAB AFL Women's season opener, with entry free.

Visit the Carlton AFLW hub for more player features