AFTER a tense AFLW Sign and Trade Period, Libby Birch finally landed at Melbourne last Friday.
But she said the decision to seek a trade, and the process that followed, was quite tricky.
“You’re in a really difficult position when you’re moving clubs, especially during that trade period, because you’re basically in between two homes,” Birch said on SEN Afternoons with Andy Maher on Thursday.
“You’re saying goodbye but also saying hello, but not really quite there yet until you get that official tick from the next club.
“So you have to sit on your hands and let your management team and your new club try and get you across.”
With four new clubs entering the AFLW competition next year, there were plenty of players on the move this off-season.
“Obviously there were some big movements, especially to expansion clubs, but I just focused on what I needed to do to come across to Melbourne,” Birch said.
But Birch’s decision to leave the Western Bulldogs, where she “spent three amazing years” and won a premiership, was not easy.
“At the end of the season I did a bit of a review process personally on what I wanted to achieve and where I wanted to go in 2020,” she said.
“And for me, it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I guess it came down to wanting to turn a new page in my career.”
After plenty of deliberation, the 21-year-old decided she wanted to become a Demon, quickly falling in love with the club.
“I’m a person that is so passionate about being involved in a great team environment, and from the minute I stepped into Melbourne’s doors, that is something that just drew me there,” Birch said.
“It’s just so infectious and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Birch’s prior relationships with some of the current red and blue players was another reason behind her decision to join the club.
“I’ve played with a lot of those girls in the community league at Darebin in the VFLW and I’ve won a couple of premierships with a couple of those players,” she said.
“So that was another drawing factor because I have lasting friendships there.”
Birch will be a valuable addition for the Dees next season, bringing her energy and class in defence to the group.
Listen to Birch’s full chat on SEN below: