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Harrington relishing new opportunity

Game Changers Update | Round 1 Carlton Media's Emily Angwin brings you all the news from Ikon Park as the Blues prepare for their season-opening clash with Collingwood.

AFTER years of success playing professional basketball, just one glimpse at last year's AFLW launch was enough to convince 26-year-old Kerryn Harrington to make the switch to football.

One year on, the lifelong Blues fanatic may be set to debut on the very ground where she witnessed the historic, career-changing spectacle.

“I played elite basketball from a young age and was really fortunate to earn a professional career over the last 10 years playing in Australia and have loved every minute of it,” Harrington told Carlton Media.

“My family’s been Carlton since day one and I never had the opportunity to play as a kid.

“I was just down here last year watching mates play and was so inspired by what they were doing and the scope women’s sport was taking, I really just wanted to be part of it.”

Harrington, a former Australian basketball representative, admits her basketball career was at a crossroads before taking up footy, when Carlton provided her with an opportunity to live out her dream and potentially play in front of thousands of fans at Ikon Park.

Former basketballer Kerryn Harrington is ready to fire for the Game Changers. (Photo: AFL Photos)

“I looked at my basketball career, I was at a bit of a crossroads. Do I look to play overseas in America or stay in Australia?” Harrington said.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity Carlton presented to me. It was a breath of fresh air, a challenge and a new opportunity.”

Away from her passion for sports, the former Bendigo Thunder midfielder recently graduated university as a qualified physiotherapist and is enjoying the challenge of juggling work commitments around her training schedule.

“I graduated at the end of 2017. I’ve been fortunate to do some physio work at Carlton with the men’s team and loved that experience while also starting full-time work at a sports clinic not too far away from the club.

“I suppose I got to the point I was used to it (combining study with training). Living in a sports institution throughout high school I learned to juggle professional sport and study at the same time,” she said.

When asked about the culture around the club, Harrington was entirely optimistic for the direction in which the Blues are heading, with a clear vision towards success stemming from the strong relationships formed between the playing group, coaching staff and administration across the board.

“I can’t speak more highly of it (club culture). The work we’ve done with the coaching staff and the physical performance staff have prepared us so well - there’s such a genuine care for each other between players and staff.

“It’s going to be a difficult team selection for them. Everyone’s ready and I think the fact that there’s no injuries and a full list to choose from is going to be interesting.

“I’m really hopeful to debut, but fingers are crossed.”