JUST five weeks ago, Sarah Perkins wasn’t on an AFLW list.
Now she’s well and truly a Demon, having played her first game in the red and blue on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s been pretty crazy,” Perkins told Melbourne Media post-game.
“I don’t really have words for it – I think I’m still in shock.
“Tuesday night when Mick said that I’d be debuting I didn’t know whether to cry, jump for joy or what really to do.
“It’s been pretty special and obviously it’s unfortunate with some girls being out sick and injured, but I’m just happy I could play my role for the team.”
The 26-year-old lined up at full-forward and chopped out in the ruck, helping Melbourne claim a 59-point win over the Eagles at Casey Fields.
But when she was first offered a train-on position due to the Dees’ growing injury list, she never expected to actually make her debut.
“I actually didn’t really know in my head how many girls were injured; how many girls were fit,” Perkins said.
“I just went, the best thing for me is to be training at the high level of AFLW that you get.”
Perkins played 17 games for the Crows across the first three years of the competition, but was delisted at the end of the 2019 season, all but ending her senior career.
“For a little bit it probably crept into my head that I was done,” she said.
“I was still hopeful, still worked my backside off pre-draft, and worked really hard on my mental health to get mentally fit as well as physically fit.”
The former Adelaide premiership player is a proven performer at the top level, but admits she took a while to settle into her first game of 2020.
“I was still really nervous and felt sick even through that last quarter when I was sitting on the bench,” she said.
“I think a fairy-tale finish kicking a goal with the girls getting around me – it was a bit nerve-wracking but I’m just glad it went through.”
While Perkins will only be selected when Melbourne is down to 23 available players for a game, she is just happy to be involved with the club.
“It’s a really exciting team to be a part of,” she said.
“I’ve obviously had some team success in the past, but what these girls are building, and the culture that they’ve created, and how they’ve welcomed me in with open arms, has been really special.
“I’m really thankful to them and the coaching staff for welcoming me in.”