It has been a whirlwind few months for Ireland’s only AFL women’s (AFLW) competition player, Laura Corrigan Duryea. After six games with Melbourne including today’s victory over Adelaide in Darwin they sit joint second on the ladder and are in contention for a Grand Final spot with one round remaining.
From being a late edition to the Melbourne list Laura has started and played an influential role in all Melbourne’s games to date. Laura started off in the full-back position but in recent games she has played half-back. Laura is an Irish pathfinder in the new competition wearing the same number 11 as another famous Irish Demon, Jim Stynes. It’s very likely many more talented Irish athletes will play in future seasons of the AFLW, just like Jim Stynes open the door for many other Irish men getting the opportunity to play AFL. The league itself in its first season has got great support with games live on TV and big crowds turning up. The very first game of the competition attracted 24,500 fans with over 2,000 lock out as the venue was at capacity. The peak TV audience for that first game was also a remarkable 1.1 million viewers. Below are some photos from her history making AFL women’s competition debut season.