Lauren Butler ’s rapidly growing footy portfolio now includes 10 career games and a milestone AFLW final, but the Carisbrook product admits even after two years on the national stage, she still pinches herself.
Butler seems to collect little bits of women’s football history wherever she goes, becoming the first local to be drafted to the AFLW from a local club, part of Collingwood’s first ever
VFLW premiership side and now as part of the Pies’ first ever AFLW final.
Collingwood faced North Melbourne last Saturday in the first round of AFLW finals, but unfortu- nately went down by a shattering two points.
Butler said the loss was “devastating” but the side was comforted by the knowledge that it was the team’s first ever female final just one year after finishing as the competition’s wooden spoon getters.
“We played as such a team and really we knew that we had what it took to win that game,” she said.
“To lose by just a few points, we were so devastated but at the same time when we went back into the rooms after the game we realised how proud of each other we were and how far we’d come.
“We actually had a really similar list to last year, but that improvement from everyone in 12 months was really noticeable.
“The biggest thing for us was that while every team has its stars, every single girl that went out onto the field contributed each week and when you’re part of a team that is as united and as focussed as we are, you want to be better for your team mates.
“The final was really one of the hardest games to play and lose because it meant so much, but I think it’s a game that will drive us in the future and make us hungry for next season.”
For more on this story see the Back Page of The Advertiser, Friday, March 27