A shoulder injury to Giants midfielder Chloe Dalton has paved the way for Belconnen junior Emily Pease to make her AFL Women's debut against Fremantle on Sunday in Melbourne.
The 19-year-old learned of her selection after training on Thursday night, when Dalton told the playing group she'd failed to recover in time from a painful shoulder knock picked up in the club's season-opening win over Gold Coast last weekend.
"We always knew Chloe Dalton was going to be a maybe just depending on how her shoulder pulled up," Pease said.
"She said that she was unavailable unfortunately with her shoulder just not quite being right yet, then said a couple of words and pretty well said I was going to be playing, so it was pretty surreal.
"I'm so keen to run out with the team. I'm a little bit nervous at the moment and I'll probably get a bit more as we get closer to the game, but once I get a touch on the footy then I reckon I'll be pretty sweet."
Pease was drafted to the Giants at the end of 2020, but didn't play a match in her first season.
She was an emergency last weekend for the Giants as they downed the Suns by 15 points in Mackay, despite losing Dalton early in the second half.
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Scans this week cleared Dalton of serious damage, but the former Australia rugby Sevens star will miss at least one match as a precaution.
Pease's debut will be played at Whitten Oval, against a Fremantle side coming off a strong opening-round win over West Coast.
"They're a pretty strong team, they like to get it over the back to score their goals," Pease said.
"Our defence has been working a lot on structure around that. One of our focuses is just put pressure on the footy and then try and play our own game, which we've been working really hard on this year."
Pease's Canberra-based family are set to make the road trip to Melbourne to watch her debut.
Giants players and staff will fly to Melbourne late on Sunday morning and return to Sydney immediately after the match instead of spending a night away from home in a bid to minimise their risk of contracting COVID.
It's one of several measures the club is employing this season to protect its players.
"We kind of just try to keep our social interactions to a minimum, pretty much," Pease said.
"You have some days where you don't get up to much but for the long term it's probably for the best."
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