IT WAS fingers crossed for Navy Blue for Winnie Laing heading into last week’s NAB AFL Women’s Draft.
Laing had her eye on pick No.36 long before her selection, eager to get to Carlton after an impactful first AFLW game piqued her interest.
“Since I watched my first AFLW game 2-3 years ago, it was Carlton that I really wanted to go to,” Laing said.
“So obviously during the draft process, getting interviews with them was pretty exciting and then that night we kind of had an inkling that that pick No.36 could have been the one I was going to get.
“So that was the one we were paying attention to a lot.”
Laing’s draft experience is reflective of an unprecedented year, waiting nervously for her name to be called out sitting at home watching the virtual draft.
But finishing off the Blues’ 2020 draft crop, the whirlwind kicked off for the powerful midfielder when the third round selection was called.
“Well I was at home and a couple of names started getting called out and I was getting pretty nervous: all my teammates were getting called out,” Laing said.
“I just started pacing up and down the hallway a little bit, I couldn’t really watch the draft too much. Mum and Dad were getting pretty nervous and then I was actually facing the backwards wall, I couldn’t look at the TV.
“Then I heard Carlton and I was praying because Carlton was the club I wanted, and I knew that was their last pick and they said ‘Winnie Laing’.”
Wholesome content warning. ??— Carlton Women's (@carltonfc_w) October 8, 2020
The moment Winnie Laing found out she was a Blue. ?? pic.twitter.com/JwSY1ft6r9
It didn’t take long for Laing’s new teammates to welcome the new Blue, a call from Carlton’s No.7 she won’t soon forget.
“Tayla Harris rung and I was in a state of shock and I kind of just couldn’t even talk to her on the phone. I think meeting her in person is going to be really, really exciting to meet her properly and have a good conversation,” she said.