The West Coast Eagles will unleash their 12th AFLW debutant against Greater Western Sydney at Blacktown International Sportspark on Sunday.
It’s been a long time coming, but bullish onballer Emily Bonser will finally get her first crack at the big time during the club’s third outing for season 2020.
Bonser has been the personification of resilience over her football career.
A three-time WAFLW premiership player, she was recruited by Fremantle ahead of the inaugural AFLW campaign in 2017.
However, a pre-season medical revealed that Bonser had been playing with two, not one, ruptured ACLs.
Following the diagnosis, the Northam product went under the knife, with surgeons first repairing her right knee before turning their attention to the left shortly afterwards.
Life slowed down abruptly for the then personal trainer, but Bonser showed grit and maturity beyond her years, diligently rehabilitated both ACLs to the point where she resumed playing football with Claremont’s WAFLW side in 2018 and started training with West Coast’s High Performance Female Academy.
Following a stellar year with the Tigers – culminating in a 2019 Best and Fairest title - Bonser’s dream of playing at the highest level became possible again when the Eagles recruited her as an academy selection on August 24.
After being listed as an emergency for West Coast’s first two AFLW hit-outs, she will now get her chance to shine on the big stage.
The 24-year-old has been listed on an extended bench alongside McKenzie Dowrick, Beatrice Devlyn, Danika Pisconeri, Hayley Bullas, Kate Orme and Cassie Davidson, who is in the frame to make her West Coast debut after representing Fremantle 14 times.
The Eagles will confirm their starting 21 at 1pm AWST on Friday.
West Coast will take on the Giants from 10.10am AWST on Sunday.
The contest will be broadcast live on Channel 7 Perth, Fox Footy and the official AFLW app.