New Adelaide recruit Jess Waterhouse says earning a spot on the Crows’ list is a result of hard work and never giving up on a dream to play AFLW.
The Crows signed Waterhouse on Wednesday as a replacement player for Premiership utility Jasmyn Hewett, who was moved to the inactive list due to work opportunities with AirServices Australia.
Waterhouse, who started playing football about five years ago after switching from soccer, was overlooked at last month’s AFLW Draft, before an opportunity came up with Adelaide
Speaking to AFC Media, Waterhouse said winning a spot on the Crows’ list was a a dream come true.
“I was quite disappointed after Draft night but I tried not to take it personally because they need to look at youth coming through and securing that as quickly as possible,” Waterhouse, 25, said.
“I tried to remove the emotion out of it and think about what I could do now.
“I just prepared myself to put my head down and work hard in another (SANFLW) season with South.
“So when Katrina (Crows AFLW List Manager) rang and said there was a potential opportunity for me, it didn’t seem real.
“The news was announced on Wednesday night and I think the reaction from the girls cemented why the Crows is the place to be. I just feel really supported.”
Waterhouse captained the Young Matildas at just 15 and played three seasons of soccer with Adelaide United in the W-League before taking up footy after watching two-time Adelaide Premiership defender Marijana Rajcic make the switch.
“I had a little bit of a break from soccer, I think I reached my threshold with it and needed some time off,” Waterhouse said.
“At the end, soccer for me didn’t feel like that, it felt like more of a chore.
“I saw those players come across to footy and thought ‘Gee, they’re actually having a bit of fun’, so I decided to give it a go.”
She played a season with Christies Beach’s division two side and helped the Saints claim their inaugural Adelaide Footy League women’s premiership.
Waterhouse then spent one campaign with Glenelg in the SANFLW, before taking another break from sport altogether but picked up a Sherrin again with Happy Valley in 2021.
The explosive 157cm forward featured with South Adelaide in its 2022 SANFLW campaign and her strong form led to AFLW Clubs, including the Crows, taking notice.
Waterhouse, who will begin training with the Crows immediately in preparation for the season, said she was looking forward to continuing the hard work and earning her teammates’ respect.
“No matter where I am, I just want to be the best that I can be and play good football and the best that I can for the team,” Waterhouse said.
“I think everyone can expect me to work hard and hopefully we can get the Premiership again this year and go back-to-back.”