When Emily Bohan joined the Wyong Lakes juniors program, there was no AFL Womens. There wasn’t even a first grade womens competition in the Black Diamond league systems.
Bohan wasn’t kicking the Sherrin around every weekend because she dreamed of playing under Friday Night Lights, or making her national debut – though what young kid doesn’t pretend they’re playing on the SCG as they practice in the backyard.
She was simply playing for the love of the game, and all the chances that came next for the Magpies’ stalwart veteran were simply icing on the proverbial cake of Aussie rules.
“I'm proud to play for [the Magpies],” Bohan said. “After having to stop in juniors I thought I'd played my last game. I'm so happy to be able to play again.”
The Magpies’ founding captain made 107 appearances in the junior system, before being forced to return to the sidelines when she hit the under 16s team due to squads becoming all-boys.
After turning out for one final season in the under 14s, a year older than the boys around her, Bohan thought her options to play footy had run out.
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When she heard the news in 2015 that the Magpies had joined the Black Diamond AFL Womens competition as the first Central Coast organisation, she was one of the first to pen her name on the dotted line.
“I was so happy to come back to a sport that I'm so passionate about and love,” Bohan said.
Bohan also revealed she has been following the Sydney Swans for “many years”, and where there once wasn’t a pathway at her local club, now the long-standing Wyong Lakes representative could find her way to the national competition in the red and white of her favourite club.
“Watching the Swans for many years I always wanted to be out there. Now my chance to impress is just around the corner,” she said.
Bohan’s Lady Pies sit within a finals position in the league’s standings, and have their eyes firmly fixed on a deep run in the elimination rounds.
Last round saw Bohan celebrate her milestone match, as she slotted ten goals in a 200 point victory for Wyong Lakes. Especially after their landslide victory, the team’s fullback believes they can make it “all the way to the grand final”.
“We've got a great team this year, it's been the best season to be a part of and on our day we can beat anyone,” Bohan said.
Their next match will be played as part of the Womens carnival round, where all eight Round 14 matches will be contested at at Tulkaba Park throughout Saturday. The first match – Lake Macquarie vs Singleton – will be played at 10am.
Wyong Lakes will play at midday against Killarney Vale on the No.1 field.
Bohan has also been named in the upcoming Womens Representative Challenge tri-series, and is joined by fellow Lady Pies Sarah Ball, Jesse Graham, Kanesha Murray, Alanna Nicholson, Alexandra Pearce and Rachael Potts in the initial Central Coast squad.