Southern Saint Ali Brown has made history, becoming St Kilda’s first ever female footballer.
The 21-year-old put pen to paper last week, with the road to 2020 for the Saints’ AFLW program now officially underway.
Almost 146 years after the club was first established, the signing marks a landmark day for St Kilda, and its significance was not lost on an ecstatic Brown.
“I was a little bit speechless when Pete (Peta Searle) and Jamie (Cox) told me,” she told saints.com.au.
“I’m super excited for the opportunity and just very grateful.”
Ali Brown in action for the Southern Saints
Brown’s visible athleticism coupled with her 182cm frame means she has the ability to impact aerial contests as well as outmuscle opponents at ground level.
An inside midfielder by trade, she earned a reputation in the VFLW for her tough, unrelenting attack on the footy, a trait she hopes will hold her in good stead at the highest level.
The life-long Saints fan and Bayside local admitted there was also a surreal element to signing with the club she grew up supporting.
“I live just around the corner, so I remember coming and watching training here, so it’s pretty unreal to be here now as a player,” Brown said.
READ: VFLW Season Review
Brown represented Carlton in the inaugural AFLW season and played in the first AFLW game ever played at Princes Park, an experience she said she’ll never forget.
“I remember walking out of the race and the stadium was packed … it was pretty crazy,” she recalled.
“On the ground it was just so loud as well – we couldn’t even hear each other – but you had so much adrenaline … that was one of the best nights of my life.
“I just can’t wait for the Saints to have their first game, and hopefully I can get that feeling again.”
Brown will once again feature for the Southern Saints at VFLW level in 2019, before the red, white and black takes centre stage in Season 2020 of the AFLW.