TO UNDERSTAND Richmond ruck Gabby Seymour's joyous reaction to her mark against Stacey Livingstone last Sunday, you have to know where she's come from.
Seymour grew up a volleyballer, representing the country at a junior level, and aside from being a Richmond supporter, actually playing football hadn't crossed her mind until the end of 2018.
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She was intrigued by a "come-and-try" day for the Tigers' VFLW side, and given her lack of footy experience, was invited to train with the side before being properly offered a spot with the team some time later.
In the space of a handful of months in 2019, she moved from playing local footy with The Basin (in Melbourne's outer-east) to a permanent VFLW role to an AFLW rookie contract for the 2020 season.
An undersized ruck at VFLW level (176cm), she spent her first AFLW season mostly in defence, before returning to the ruck this year.
The addition of recruit Harriet Cordner to defence has freed up Seymour to showcase her ability around the ground, pushing inaugural ruck Alice Edmonds out of the 21 in the process.
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But her brief second-quarter foray in attack against Collingwood was the very first time she had been sent to play as a forward.
"I've seen it about 40,000 times since, it feels like it's everywhere at the moment. The coaches mentioned during the week I might have a run up forward, just something they were looking to do to break things up a bit," Seymour told womens.afl.
"It got to quarter-time, and I saw my name not in the ruck, but at the bottom of the whiteboard. And I was like, oh my god, I'm not a great kick, as you can probably tell.
"I wandered down to the goalsquare and I see Stacey Livingstone, who's obviously a jet defender. I was thinking, 'you've just got to get a touch, you've just got to get a touch'.
"The first ball-up happens and I see Mon (Conti) come forward and kick it at me. I remember thinking Stacey might have jumped a little too high, she'd read it wrong and it's going to fall back a bit.
"I can't even remember what happened, I felt like I just stuck my hands out and the ball was there. I didn't know what to do next, and I can't tell you what happened between the mark and kicking the ball. And you know what happened, I clearly have to work on my kicking."
Richmond, which is yet to win an AFLW game in nine attempts, is set to take on Carlton on Saturday, marking the first time the fledgling side has played a team for the second time.
The two previously met in round one last year – the Tigers' first AFLW match – where the newbies were comprehensively outplayed by their more seasoned opponents.
"We were saying that playing Carlton is like we've come full circle. I think everyone's pretty excited about the opportunity and especially following on from that last half against Collingwood," Seymour said.
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"I think we were actually really pleased when we saw in the changerooms (after the Collingwood loss) we were going to be playing Carlton.
"You know, we feel like we've got a lot to offer, and we're have a moment at some stage, and I think we've all got pretty good feelings it's going be pretty soon."
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