“Success is the best revenge”.
That’s the motto Adelaide’s Sarah Perkins lives by.
Just two rounds in, the 23-year-old forward has already been labelled a ‘cult’ star in the inaugural AFL Women’s competition, but she almost didn’t make it.
Missed it? Here’s what went down in Round 2:
Perkins, who kicked an impressive 52 goals for the East Burwood Devils in the VFL last year, was gutted when she missed out on the AFLW draft in October.
“I was pretty distraught afterwards,” she told Mamamia.
After speaking with her coach in Melbourne who told her to push for one of the coveted ‘free agent’ spots, she picked up the phone.
“I had a phone conversation with Bec [Goddard] and a couple of people from the Crows,” Perkins said.
An hour after meeting with the Adelaide coach in South Australia, her fate as Number 28 was sealed.
“It was surreal, I had to pinch myself and think wow is that really what happened? Am I really moving to Adelaide? Am I really playing for the Crows?”
After securing an interstate job transfer, the landscaper-turned-plumbing employee moved across the border to finally make her pipe-dream a reality.
Perkins is not your typical AFL player — she shed 40kg before her first game a fortnight ago, for one thing — but she's a bloody good one.
She's quickly becoming known for her safe hands, booming kick, ripper attitude... and a touch of fanfare.
On Friday night she proved again what an asset she is on the field, kicking two goals for the Crows who thumped the Western Bulldogs in front of 7669 fans at Footscray's Whitten Oval.
Her performance did not go unnoticed:
"It feels great to be at a match-fit level and be comfortable in my body and not so self-conscious," she said.
"We’re all different. We’re all different body types, we’re different ages, different packages. People have a perception of women’s sport, you have to look a certain way.
"You don’t have to be a size 6 to play football, you can be a 14 or 16 and still play a role."
Perkins was 16-years-old when she started playing for the Devils, after a friend dragged her along to a training session, and she's never looked back.
She is overjoyed to be where she is, but the highlight of her season so far hasn'tt been her weight loss, kicking goals or her team sitting on top of the ladder.
It happened in her living room two Fridays ago, when the the word "lockout" came from the mouth of a Channel 7 commentator during the first AFLW game between Collingwood and Carlton.
"I never thought that would happen," she said.
In 2017, Mamamia is committed to covering all aspects on women's sport. Check out more of our sports stories here.