Tuesday afternoon Rosie Dillon’s lifelong dream of playing AFLW finally came to fruition when her name was called out by St Kilda selecting her with pick No.24.
When Dillon first came to the Hawks three years ago, one might not have thought that this was a possible near future for the midfielder.
Throughout her time in the brown and gold, Dillon underwent a remarkable fitness overhaul that saw her lose a significant amount of weight and develop her football skills to another level.
An original member of the Hawthorn VFLW team, the 23-year-old said the club had been a huge part of her journey to the AFLW.
“The Hawthorn program has been instrumental in my development because they've given me pretty much everything I've needed to get myself in the best possible position I can to get drafted,” she said.
Leading up to the draft, Dillon had spoken to four clubs but was still feeling uncertain.
“I was very nervous for the whole week leading up to the day.
“I had an idea I would get drafted but it’s draft day, you know that anything could happen.
“A lot of girls have been through the same thing as me before and have not gotten picked.”
The inside-mid had a break-out 2019 in which she played all 14 games, averaging 17.1 disposals and 5.6 tackles.
To add to her impressive list of achievements, she was a member of the VFLW Team of the Year, a nominee for the league’s rising star award and Hawthorn’s best and fairest recipient.
On the day of the draft, Dillon had organised to watch it at home in the company of her family, but her plans changed after a last minute phone call from her former Hawthorn coach and now St Kilda assistant coach, Paddy Hill.
“Paddy gave me a call around 11, just as I was about to get in the shower.
“He said ‘you might want to come in, they’re thinking of taking you early.’”
Dillon and her family jumped in a car and raced to the Melbourne Showgrounds, making it just in time to hear her name called out by the Saints.
“Because my whole family was there, everyone got so stressed, but then it ended up being quite a funny day.
“They were all over the moon.
“Dad got a Saints hat and was pretty much wearing it all day.”
Dillon said it was “even better” that she was selected alongside six of her Hawthorn teammates.
“No one was really sure where anyone was ending up or if they were going to end up somewhere at all.
“So it was such a brilliant, brilliant outcome.”
Having grown up supporting Hawthorn alongside her whole family, Dillon said despite the fact she’ll be wearing the Saints jumper, she’s brown and gold at heart.
“I am Hawks, I’ll always be Hawks.”