Former Carisbrook Redback, Lauren Butler made her AFL Women’s debut on Saturday night in the first game for the 2019 season.
Donning the number 23 for the very first time, Butler took to the GMHBA Stadium surface in front of a crowd of 18,429 footy fans, in her first national level football game for the Collingwood Football Club.
Butler played with the Carisbrook Lady Redbacks as a junior before moving to representative duties.
The Now 18-year-old captained the TAC Cup Greater Western Victoria Rebels side last season and also represented Victoria Country at an under 18s carnival in Queensland which helped her gain the attention of AFLW selectors.
From there, Butler was invited to the AFLW draft combine where she posted a 7.52 minute two kilometre time trial and a 16.3 on the yo-yo test, an endurance test similar to the beep test.
Butler also made her VFL debut last season, playing two games for the Western Bulldogs before a broken finger cut her season short.
In a culmination of years of progress, Butler was drafted to Collingwood, one of the AFLW’s original teams, at pick 18 last October.
The Pies couldn’t quite get over the line on Saturday night, with Geelong winning the season-opener by just one point in a very close match.
For more on this story see the Back Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, February 5