West Coast has upgraded versatile tall Andrea Gilmore to its playing list ahead of the club’s inaugural AFLW season.
The former West Coast Fever netballer was previously operating as a train-on player with the Eagles throughout their pre-season slog.
Gilmore has been added to the squad to provide cover for Alicia Janz, who is unavailable for West Coast’s maiden campaign due to a long-term knee injury.
The 31-year-old has been plying her trade with Claremont’s WAFLW league team for the past two years, but missed the entirety of the Tigers’ 2019 campaign due to complications from an ACL injury sustained in 2017.
She was on track to make a fairytale comeback during Claremont’s finals run, but the Tigers were bundled out of the WAFLW premiership race a week before her set return date.
West Coast Eagles head of female football Adam Selwood said the club took advantage of a recent AFLW rules change to bring Gilmore into the fold.
The rule adjustment allows clubs to upgrade a train-on athlete in the event that a player is ruled out for the season prior to January 31.
“The rule change has been adjusted to ensure we are looking after the health and safety of AFLW playing squads due to our small list sizes of only 30 players,” Selwood explained.
“With the unfortunate situation of losing a ruck for the season it was important for our program to bring in some much-needed height to support the playing group.”
Selwood said the club was thrilled to have the resilient Gilmore available for selection throughout season 2020.
“Gilly has been a much-loved member of our female football program for over 18 months now,” he said.
“Not only has she displayed a high level of resilience to come back from her ACL injury, her caring nature towards teammates is very infectious and appreciated by all.
“She is a strong marking forward who could play an important role across the length of the season.”
Gilmore participated in West Coast's scratch match versus Fremantle and will be available for the Eagles' official pre-season clash with Richmond, which will be played at Punt Road Oval on Sunday, January 26.