The football journey of Katie Loynes is a lesson in perseverance. The Diamond Creek and now Carlton footballer has had her fair share of injuries over the last four or five seasons including a broken leg, an ankle reconstruction and a couple of knee reconstructions.
(Loynes gets a kick away in a practice game against Melbourne. PHOTO: Nuala Clarke Photography)
However, to focus on her injuries does her a great disservice. Loynes is one of the best inside midfielders in the game and her selection at pick eight in the first ever women’s draft back in 2013, is indicative of her standing in women’s football.
If not for her knee troubles, Loynes may well have been in marquee or priority calculations. However, she ended up being one of the steals of the NAB AFL Women’s draft when Carlton selected her at pick 110.
Speaking to the This AFL Life podcast, Loynes, a lifelong Carlton supporter, explained her anxious wait on draft day.
“That was the hardest thing, I obviously couldn’t show my talent before the draft, so it really had to be focussed on what I’d done previously… It was a really tough time not knowing if clubs would see me as too much of a risk or not.” Loynes said.
Watching the draft at home with her Mum by her side, Loynes endured a nervous wait until Carlton called her name out. In that moment her dreams were realised and the years of struggle were worth it.
“When my name got called out and that I was going to Carlton as well, we were both just pretty much in tears. It was a really special moment.” Loynes added.
On Friday February 3, Loynes and her Carlton teammates will open the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s season against Collingwood. For Katie, running out onto Ikon Park in that opening match will be a moment to savour.
Listen to the full interview with Katie Loynes in this episode of This AFL Life: