Denmark’s Laurie set to lead Dockers’ ruck on debut

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Fremantle draftee Parris Laurie competes in the ruck with Adelaide’s Jasmyn Hewett in a recent practice match.
Camera IconFremantle draftee Parris Laurie competes in the ruck with Adelaide’s Jasmyn Hewett in a recent practice match. Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

Denmark’s Parris Laurie appears certain to make her AFLW debut for Fremantle on Sunday when the 2019 campaign kicks off, completing a remarkable few months for the former State basketballer.

A move to shift her focus to football in 2016 had firstly paid off for Laurie after she captained Claremont in the WA Women’s Football League last season and was then drafted by the Dockers, but it appears a first AFLW game is upon her.

Laurie has led the Dockers ruck duties during the pre-season, including in a practice match against Adelaide earlier this month in Darwin and coach Trent Cooper gave every indication the 24-year-old will debut this week.

“We haven’t finalised selection yet but there will probably be between six to nine new faces this Sunday, so it’s exciting for the club and exciting for those who will make their debut,” Cooper said.

“Parris will lead our ruck and she’s been sensational through the pre-season. She’ll give us a lot of drive through there.”

The Dockers travel to Victoria this weekend where they take on Melbourne at Casey Fields in their conference A opener on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking with the Albany Advertiser this week, Laurie said the build-up to the new season had been exciting for her as a fresh face. It’s definitely been a tough pre-season but one I’ve really enjoyed,” Laurie said.

“All the training is paying off and I’ve been working predominantly as a ruck, doing some talls work and working in with the midfield. We are all just very eager to start playing footy.

“I’m hoping I can make my debut this weekend but we’ll find out the team (today).”

Laurie’s brother Jesse was rookie listed by Port Adelaide in 2009 but never played a senior game and Laurie said her parents had already booked flights to Melbourne in the hope to watch their daughter potentially run out on the big stage for the first time.

Laurie will be one of three Great Southern players to keep an eye on in the AFLW this season.

Belinda Smith in action for Fremantle last season.
Camera IconBelinda Smith in action for Fremantle last season. Credit: Will Russell/Getty Images

Former Mt Barker resident Kirby Bentley has joined Carlton as a free agent and the veteran is expected to play an immediate role for the Blues after missing all of 2018 with a knee injury.

Pingrup’s Belinda Smith will play across half-back for the Western Bulldogs, who picked up the defender after she was delisted by the Dockers after the first two instalments of the AFLW.

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