GOING to school for periods one, two and three, then heading to your childhood club to meet your new teammates from midday.
The immediate rush after 2021 NAB AFLW Draft will live long in the memory for Keeley Sherar, and dad Steve was there every step of the way.
A diehard Carlton supporter growing up - “and she’s probably more diehard than I am!” - it was a moment of reflection for Dad when he drove into the IKON Park carpark with Keeley the day after the draft.
It was hard to believe for the Sherar family, but it really did happen.
When Keeley was selected with pick No.11 by the Blues, a meteoric rise in the last 12 months for the newest Game Changer was complete.
“It’s amazing. I said to her when we were rolling into the driveway at IKON Park, that who would’ve thought four years ago I’d be dropping her off here having been drafted to Carlton,” Steve said.
“It was an incredible night. We had the kids and Keeley’s boyfriend over, and we probably didn’t expect her to get that early.
“The last 12 months have been huge for her, she’s made huge improvements.”
It was when Sherar was 14 that she decided to give football a shot, after years of watching the Navy Blues in action at the MCG, Marvel Stadium and even IKON Park until 2005.
With the AFLW competition just beginning, Sherar - who also doubles up as a VNL netballer - “took it upon herself” to give the code a crack, and the effects were immediate.
First featuring at Norwood under Scott Barnes and ultimately making her way to the Eastern Ranges under Travis Cloke, Steve said Keeley’s introduction to football was a lightbulb moment.
Blink and you’ll miss it.— Carlton Women's (@carltonfc_w) July 27, 2021
There’s another Game Changer arriving at IKON Park.
Welcome to the Blues, Keeley. ??#AFLWDraft
“I think it’s always something that she wanted to do, but I don’t think she thought she’d get to this level so quickly. There’s no looking back now, that’s for sure,” he said.
“She was at Norwood for half a season and she has never looked back: she really enjoyed her footy playing with mates, and that’s where it all started.
“Scott Barnes at Norwood was a big influence and Travis Cloke was huge for her last year, in terms of letting the girls enjoy their footy and not putting too much pressure on them. She flourished from there.”
While she joins the pack as one of 30 Game Changers for the upcoming 2021-22 season, Sherar was very much the talk of the town amongst her family members and school mates on Wednesday.
Just ask her little brother, nine-year-old Nate.
“We weren’t expecting it, but Nate is mad Carlton as well and he wrote down Carlton’s picks and what numbers we had. When she went at 11, everybody went crazy — the young bloke was very happy,” he said.
“He couldn’t wait to get to school and tell all of his mates, and then at footy training as well.
“I asked Keeley what it was like when she went to school and that she would’ve been a rockstar yesterday. She got a lot of well wishes, from her teaches and her friends.”