New Saint has a fresh perspective on the game

MOST INJURED players sit in a specific section of the ground when watching their team on the field. 

In the AFLW competition, that's often just behind the bench, allowing support and advice to be offered to teammates.

But having re-injured the Lisfranc ligament in her foot in the final minute of a SANFLW match for Central District – playing in a desperate attempt to be declared fit for Adelaide's Grand Final against Carlton – Jess Sedunary sat smack-bang in the centre of the cheer squad, watching the Crows lift the cup again.

Sedunary breaks a tackle in the Crows' victorious 2017 AFLW Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

"I went and sat behind the goals in the massive Crows crowd, I parked my bum right in the middle of it, and I got amongst the yelling and the screaming," St Kilda recruit Sedunary told womens.afl.

"It was really good of the club that I was able to do that, because if I'd sat in a quiet area, stewing over the game, that would have been a lot harder. But I just got amongst the atmosphere.

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"It was tough though, especially when 53,000 people pack out a stadium and you're watching it fill out and thinking how good it would be to be out there."

There were a few second looks in the crowd when fans realised the 2017 premiership forward was sitting among them.

"My mates who I sat with loved it. It was pretty funny, I tried to keep it under wraps because I wanted to hear what people were saying in the crowd and then report back to my teammates, like 'this person said you were really fast'," Sedunary said.

"It's always fun to feel like people know who you are, even if you aren't playing, and have such nice things to say to you."

The injury itself sidelined the speedy forward for a cumulative nine months in 2019, although the newly appointed leadership group member is now raring to go ahead of round one against the Western Bulldogs.

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"I was having one of those training sessions where I was feeling really good and I probably got a bit ahead of myself, thinking I could mark the ball and change direction at the same time," Sedunary said with a grin.

"I just felt my foot sub lux, so semi-dislocate, heard a bit of crack and fell on the ground. I screamed a bit, which is unlike me, so a few of the girls came over. Then it didn't hurt at all, so I thought I may have over-reacted, went for a walk and I couldn't make it back into the changerooms."

The move to St Kilda as an expansion signing came about with the 29-year-old eager for a new challenge, and a shift interstate was on the cards if the club suited her and her career off the field (she now works in the club's community department).

Jess Sedunary celebrates the Southern Saints' VFLW semi-final win. Picture: AFL Photos

"St Kilda stuck out to me because they came over to Adelaide and I managed to meet with Peta (Searle, coach) and Jamie (Cox, club head of emerging football programs)," Sedunary said.

"I wasn't aware of Peta before that. I YouTubed her and watched a few different videos, realised she'd coached with the men's team, couldn't believe she hadn't been part of AFLW as I saw what she'd done in the VFLW space.

"If I did move, I wanted to help the league create a good culture, so hopefully one day if I have kids, they can play a sport that's known for its culture. What we did at the Crows was really special, and I thought if I could share that, why would I keep it to myself?

"When I talked to Peta, it sounded like she wanted to achieve the exact same things as me, especially around footy knowledge and being a better footballer. All reports on Peta is that she'll make you a good footy player."