Gun cricketer gets AFLW nod to replace stuck Irish Saint

DANDENONG Stingray Jess Matin has earned an AFLW opportunity, signed as an injury replacement player by St Kilda.

Forward Matin replaces key defender Clara Fitzpatrick in the squad of 30 after the Irishwoman was unable to secure permanent residency in time for the season.

The 18yo – who can also push into the midfield – has represented Victoria in cricket as a junior, and will join former Stingray teammates Tyanna Smith, Molly McDonald and Isabella Shannon at the Saints.

While Matin has plenty of footy experience at local level, playing for Beaconsfield, she has played only three NAB League matches due to her cricket commitments.

"As disappointed as we were for the door to temporarily close for Clara, we're glad another has opened for Jess," Saints head of women's football Jamie Cox said.

"We were interested in bringing her to the Saints through this year's draft, but there unfortunately wasn't a spot available on our list at the time. 

"Jessica was thrilled to receive the call-up and we're just as excited to welcome her to St Kilda.

"She's a natural footballer, is skilful on both sides of the body and quite crafty around goal. We believe she'll slot into our list quite nicely."