A DREAM come true.
There was no better way for Grace Egan to make her AFLW debut on Friday night.
Against Richmond on Friday night in front of a blockbuster crowd at Ikon Park, it was a memorable experience for the Shepparton product.
“It was pretty surreal,” Egan told Carlton Media.
“I feel like its been a long time coming and I worked my butt off to get here, so to be able to run out with the girls it was just an amazing feeling.”
Now a true Blue, Egan must have felt like it was a full-circle moment in Round 1.
After all, she found her way to the Blues after being drafted from Richmond’s VFLW side with pick No.13 in the 2019 NAB AFLW Draft.
Egan proved she is now a true Blue as she lined up against her old teammates in the season opener.
“They were all my old teammates, every single one of them: it was pretty intense,” she said.
“They are very strong, so to be on the other side of them and see what they’re like to play against was pretty awesome.
“I love playing with these Carlton girls now.”
While Egan was impressed with Richmond’s physicality, her new team well and truly took the fight to the competition newcomers.
The Game Changers were relentless with their defensive pressure, determined to capitalise on their experience at the highest level.
“We just wanted to shut them down to start off with because we feel we win the majority of the ball when we are locking down,” she said.
“I suppose it worked because we shut down their main players and we ended up getting the ball out most times.”
The second half saw the Blues take control of the game and focus on what they do best under the encouragement of Daniel Harford.
The half-time team talk from the Senior Coach must have worked, with Carlton piling on four unanswered goals in the third term.
“We knew we were on top of them, so ‘Harf’ just told us to open up the ground, take the options you don’t normally take because they’re on,” she said.
“Just open it up, run and do what we do best and it worked.”
Egan impressed in her first appearance in the Carlton outfit with 11 disposals and six tackles, going onto receive three coaches’ votes for her performance.
Harford acknowledged Egan’s persistence and reliability in the post-match address.
“It is rewarding: it’s good to see that the coaches see the hard work I’ve put in and they think I’m doing well,” she said.
“It just gives me that little bit of motivation to know they see me working hard.”
Looking ahead, she is determined to develop her game and provide her team with consistency throughout the season.
“I just want to prove that I am capable of playing at this level and having consistency throughout the season and not dropping off,” she said.
“Seeing how the team goes throughout the season, I feel like we are good enough to make it all the way.”