Experienced forward Kellie Gibson will run out for her 50th AFLW game on Saturday against Adelaide at Mineral Resources Park.
The former Rugby Sevens athlete, who won a gold medal at the Summer Youth Olympics in 2014, first joined the league in 2017, signing with the Crows.
Gibson was part of Adelaide’s inaugural premiership side in 2017, before moving to Fremantle for two seasons.
Joining West Coast ahead of the 2020 season, ‘Gibbo’ has been a consistent and reliable part of the Eagles’ lineup, and currently leads the team in scoring, kicking a personal best 10 goals in 2023 so far.
Gibson has made a successful return to football this season, after a devastating ACL injury in the first game of season seven saw her sidelined for the remainder of that year.
The 27-year-old said playing 50 games is a special moment, especially reaching the milestone as a West Coast Eagle.
“I’m really grateful I get the opportunity to play my 50th AFLW game, especially for this club who I have supported since I was a little girl,” Gibson said.
“It’s a special moment for me and my family, who have been there for me since the start.
“It also makes it a little more special as it will be against my old side, Adelaide, who I won a premiership with back in 2017.”
Since entering the league ahead of its inauguration, Gibson said the AFLW has come a long way over the past eight seasons.
“The growth in the AFLW has been massive,” Gibson said.
“We play more games, increased scoring and the crowds have been so supportive throughout our journey, especially this season.
“The talent of the girls in the competition now are just phenomenal and I can’t wait to see how amazing these players are going to be in the future.”
Gibson recalled some of her best memories of her career so far, including the first time she ran out in the blue and gold.
“Winning a flag in 2017 definitely was one of the best moments in my career, it was the first one ever in AFLW so sharing that with the girls at Adelaide will always hold a special place in my heart,” Gibson said.
“Another moment that stands out for me is running out for the Eagles in our first game against Collingwood.
“I remember the song being played and I had goosebumps all over me and it was just so thrilling to be a part of, and I still get that now when we run out onto the ground.
“Personally, this season has also been a standout for me, coming off an ACL injury and being able to make an impact every week on the scoreboard has let me enjoy the game again.
“I came back with one focus, and it was to enjoy every minute I get in this competition as it can be taken away from you so easily, so for me, just being out there every week is pure joy.”
Kicking 10 goals so far this season, one third of the Eagles total goals, Gibson said she is just happy to be doing her job and contributing to the team.
“I just take the moments as they come, I have missed two whole seasons in my career so when I get these opportunities, I don’t take them for granted,” Gibson said.
“I just love being out there and competing every week and I’m constantly looking for ways to challenge myself and get better at my craft.
“Doing my job every week and putting a few major scores on the board feels like I am contributing to our success and that really drives me.”
Bouncedown for Saturday’s clash with Adelaide is 2:05pm and the match will be broadcast live on 7mate, 7plus, Fox Footy, Kayo and the AFL and AFLW Live Official apps.