Journey to the Draft: How a prospect's heartbreak provided 'fuel' for 2021


Over the course of 2020, NAB followed four young players on their journey to the NAB AFLW and AFL Drafts. This is Grace McRae’s story.

WHAT happens when your NAB AFLW Draft plans don't work out?

For Gippsland Power's Grace McRae, you seek feedback, buckle down and get back to work.

McRae, from West Creek near Wonthaggi (south-east of Melbourne), was a relatively new convert to footy, which meant the shutdown of the 2020 NAB League season came at the worst possible time.

Carlton was the only club who interviewed McRae, and the Blues had three picks on draft night. They selected Mimi Hill, Daisy Walker and Winnie Laing.

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"I asked for feedback when I didn't get drafted. They said I needed to run faster.

"It's unfortunate that was the only reason I didn't get drafted, but I knew I wasn't fit enough. I'll now use it for my fuel for next year."

The age limit on the NAB League has been extended to under-19s given the events of 2020, and McRae was named Gippsland's best player in round one.

NAB followed McRae's draft year through the ups and downs of COVID-19, recounting her switch from basketball and netball to footy and the subterfuge (alongside her dad Rohan) needed to avoid her mum Jenny cottoning on to the change in sports.

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