Making it onto an AFLW list is an extraordinary achievement in itself. But it’s another thing entirely to grow up on the other side of the world – with no idea of the sport’s existence – and then secure a place on St Kilda’s inaugural women’s list.
Incredibly, that’s exactly what Irishwoman Clara Fitzpatrick did after moving to Melbourne at the end of 2016.
What started as a break from work and a chance to travel the world turned into residency in Melbourne, and then, a senior spot with the Saints after just three years down under.
Strong in the air, vocal in defence and able to quell some of the competition's most damaging forwards, the former Gaelic footballer starred as a pillar of the Saints’ backline.
Fitzpatrick missed one game through concussion after a courageous run back with the flight in defence, before returning in Round 3 to place second for the club’s rebound 50s and intercept possessions.
Due to the worldwide impacts of COVID-19, Fitzpatrick was unable to return to Australia for Season 2021 and was subsequently placed on the club's inactive list for 2021.