Draft dream comes true

Tess Craven at Mortimer Oval in Drysdale where it all began. (Ivan Kemp) 245572_01

By Justin Flynn

Tess Craven said she felt like she was “walking on air” when her name was read out on AFLW draft night on Tuesday.

The Drysdale midfielder was picked up by North Melbourne with the 13th pick in the draft.

“When your dream comes through in front of your eyes, it was pure elation and happiness,” Craven told the Voice.

“Even this morning I had to check my phone and check if it was real or whether it was just a dream.”

Four Geelong Falcons were taken in the draft. Craven, Gabbi Featherstone to Geelong with pick nine, Annie Lee to Carlton with pick 10 and Ingrid Houtsma to Richmond with pick 50.

“We can’t actually believe that it’s happened,” Craven said.

“We’ve talked about it possibly happening.

“We’re all living in this little dreamworld at the moment. I’m just so happy for them.”

Craven’s father Stuart had a fine football career himself and is coach of Drysdale’s senior women’s team.

“I’m not sure whether it’s true or not, but when I was really young mum and dad said they were dreading the day they were having to tell me that there was no AFL for me to play in,” Craven said.

“Now that there is that pathway, it’s all I have ever wanted.”

Craven watched the AFLW draft on the AFL website with all of the Drysdale senior women’s team joining her on Zoom.

“They (the club) have been behind me from the day I was born pretty much,” she said.

“When I was little mum and dad wouldn’t have to worry that if they were busy they wouldn’t have to look after me because there was always someone who would.”

Craven travelled to Arden Street on Wednesday for an induction day and then it was back to school at St Ignatius on Thursday.