Queanbeyan Tigers' Hannah Dunn leads AFL Canberra crop in AFLW draft

Queanbeyan Tigers women's captain Hannah Dunn. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos
Queanbeyan Tigers women's captain Hannah Dunn. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

So you ask Hannah Dunn if she has any grand plans for the day she has waited months for.

"I'll be at work actually, I might just have to take an early lunch break or something and take my laptop so I can watch it. Nothing special," the Queanbeyan Tigers captain laughed.

You could forgive her if she can't get much done in the afternoon, because she may well be scooped up by the Gold Coast Suns during Tuesday's AFLW draft.

Dunn joins a raft of Canberra players in the hunt for places on AFLW lists as the competition expands to 14 teams in 2020.

The Suns are circling Dunn's Tigers teammate Lexie Hamilton while clubs have shown interest in fellow Queanbeyan stars Jacqueline Parry, Jess Stramandinoli and Ella Ross.

Belconnen Magpies star Maggie Gorham is in GWS' sights in a sign this crop of AFL Canberra stars have put the capital on the map.

"It probably won't feel real until it actually happens. It's been a long time coming," Dunn said.

The competition is yet to commence its fourth season, but in the scope of the AFLW, it has been just that.

Dunn got a taste of the elite level on the very weekend the nation took notice. It was round one, season one. Teams were packing out stadiums amid a wave of support few could have imagined.

The Queanbeyan star was on GWS' radar in 2017 and made the trek north once a week during pre-season with little more than a training kit guaranteed.

"Obviously it's quite a big commitment to go up every week when you're not actually playing, but I did. They asked me to go up one Tuesday," Dunn said.

Queanbeyan Tigers captain Hannah Dunn is on the cusp of an AFLW chance. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

Queanbeyan Tigers captain Hannah Dunn is on the cusp of an AFLW chance. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

"It was round one and they had so many injuries, they told me I was going away as an emergency. I came back on the Thursday for training and they said 'you're playing'.

"I had only trained with everyone twice and didn't really know anyone. Obviously it was a really good experience, but I haven't had that full AFLW experience which is what I really want to do."

Dunn played for Norwood in South Australia earlier this year and finished third in the league best and fairest. It was just the shake-up she needed.

"It's not that I think I deserved to be drafted, but I was overlooked a couple of times so it got me down a bit," Dunn said.

"It was more the opportunity to play and train in a different team and under a new coach where I could learn some new things.

"It gave me an opportunity to actually get out of Canberra, because if it wasn't for that I probably would have been stuck here my whole life. I was enjoying my footy and I ended up doing well. Then it snowballed from there.

"I wasn't going over with the intention to get noticed, not that I'd given up, but it was the experience I was after. Now it's the best case scenario."

This story Dunn hopes to seize her golden chance first appeared on The Canberra Times.