ON Sunday 20 October, Brooke Vernon celebrated her 18th birthday.
On Tuesday 22 October, Brooke Vernon celebrated becoming a Blue.
The latter was better. “Definitely better.”
Going through the process of trying to get drafting is a daunting one for anyone. For Vernon, one club in particular stood out for the childhood Western Bulldogs fan.
It was the one which she will now call home in 2020 and beyond.
“I had a couple of discussions with Carlton in the lead-up and they were a very, very appealing club: probably the most appealing, to be honest,” Vernon said.
“They just sounded like a great club and it sounded like everyone loved it.
Strong down back and classy by foot.— Carlton Womens (@carltonfc_w) October 22, 2019
We like the sound of that: we've welcomed Brooke Vernon with pick No.26!#BoundByBlue
“It’s a really positive atmosphere and I had a positive interview with them. Everything about it was amazing.”
These comments from Vernon came just after draft night on Tuesday, when she stepped foot onto Ikon Park for the first time as a Carlton player.
Saying unequivocally that they’re “a Navy Blue family now”, Vernon was clearly taken aback by her new surrounds.
“As soon as I got here, I wanted to come out onto Ikon Park and just stare,” she said.
“It’s here, I’m here. It’s unbelievable.”
The footage of Lucy McEvoy’s classmates reacting to her selection was everywhere post-draft, with the students of Sacred Heart College for Carlton’s No.2 pick.
It was much the same for Vernon, who happens to be the school captain of Rosebud Secondary College.
“I screamed. Then I cried. Then my phone went crazy,” she said of the moment her name was called.
“All my school friends sent me videos: it was our last day of school and we were all doing our activities.
“I was so overwhelmed: everyone showed so much love, appreciation and support.”
Looking forward, Vernon will join her six fellow draftees and her new teammates when pre-season rolls around.
She’s had limited experience with a few Blues already — but the “cool, calm and collected” defender is keen to get stuck in with some of Carlton’s stars.
“Nic Stevens is pretty cool. Darcy Vescio as well, she’s so funny…
“But I’m more scared about lining up on Tayla Harris in training, to be honest!”