FROM supporter to player, Annie Lee is two times a Blue.
When it comes down to it, the night of the 2021 NAB AFLW Draft couldn’t have panned out better for the 18-year-old Warrnambool product.
And for someone who has been situated in Geelong, Scotland and Warrnambool, it’s no surprise that IKON Park already feels just like home for the newest Game Changer.
Selected with pick No.10 last night, the fingers were crossed just that little bit tighter before Carlton’s first pick — and the emotion was immediate.
“I was really shocked, honestly: I wasn’t expecting my name to be called out, especially for the Blues.
“It’s definitely more special: it was an amazing feeling, being a Blues supporter.
“I didn’t know what to think and my head was spinning.”
For all of those tuning in to the draft night coverage on womens.afl, the Lee family stole the show when they were joined by a very special guest: a cardboard cutout of AFL co-captain, Patrick Cripps.
With Lee having visualised her name being called out by her childhood club countless times before the night, it was agreed very early.
Should Lee become a Blue, ‘Crippa’ was going to join them.
“Dad was the one who came up with it. He’s obviously a big Blues fan,” she said.
“A couple of days before the draft, we said ‘if it does happened, if we do hear my name get called out for the Blues, then we’ll go for it’.
“As soon as my name got called out, we stuck it up.”
Arriving on Royal Parade for the first time as a Blue for an AFL photoshoot, there was an extra surprise for Lee, as well as fellow draftee and fellow childhood Bluebagger Keeley Sherar.
With members of the AFL side completing a skills session, Cripps led his teammates over to the newest draftees for a quick few words.
Crippa and the boys were there to welcome the 2021 AFLW draftees at IKON Park this morning. ?? pic.twitter.com/SxLaQaGyMb— Carlton Women's (@carltonfc_w) July 28, 2021
“I got a message from him [on draft night], and then we were getting our photos done and I didn’t expect for them to be doing a bit of skills training,” she said.
“It was really cool to see them out there.
“[The last 24 hours] have been pretty hectic. I’ve been getting heaps of messages from the girls and the men’s side as well.
“It’s been full on with lots of excitement and emotions, but it’s been really good.”
So, when pre-season training begins in preparation for the new season, who is Lee looking forward to rubbing shoulders with?
A familiar face springs to mind — as do 28 others.
“I’ve trained with Lucy McEvoy before, so it’ll be really good to be able to see her again,” she said.
“Then there’s Maddy Prespakis, Darcy Vescio… everyone. I just can’t wait to get into it.”