Adelaide’s 2019 Premiership was the catalyst needed to inspire South Australian Teah Charlton’s dream of playing AFLW.
A year and a half later, the 18-year-old was selected by the Crows with Pick No.4 in the 2020 AFLW Draft on Tuesday night.
While sitting in the crowd on Sunday, March 31, 2019, Charlton knew she wanted to experience the same feeling as those on the field.
“Up in the stands, it just gave me tingles listening to the crowd roar,” Charlton said.
“I reckon that moment was like, ‘I want to make it now, I want to perform on a big stage like that.’
“That feeling was incredible and it was unreal to see how many people turned up for a women’s grand final.”
Charlton started playing football in under 11s with a boys team, before taking a break from the sport and focusing on a promising surf lifesaving career.
When women’s pathways started to evolve, Charlton started playing again with Christies Beach, before playing in the SANFLW for South Adelaide.
Once those pathways were there, the lifelong Crows fan said it wasn’t difficult choosing between football and surf lifesaving.
“When I started the option wasn’t there, so I didn’t know where my footy journey would lead and how high I could get up to,” Charlton said.
“Now that [AFLW] is here, it’s so exciting for the young girls coming up that they actually have something to work to and get to.
“In footy I love getting under, getting the ball and tackling. Surf and netball never had that stuff, so I really enjoy the aggressiveness of it.”
The last three years, all of Adelaide’s first round draft picks have come from South Adelaide – Charlton in 2020, Montana McKinnon in 2019 and Nikki Gore in 2018.
Charlton puts that down to the welcoming environment and successful culture the Panthers have created at Noarlunga.
“Everyone wants to be there, wants to train, wants to get better as a team,” she said.
“And the fact that we’ve made it into the grand final for the last three years obviously shows that we put in the hard work and really bond together.”
While Charlton can’t wait to finish meeting all her teammates and start training in November, there were two people that were even more stoked with the fact she is now a Crow.
“My family were super excited, especially my grandparents,” Chalrton said.
“They’ve been coming to my games for ages now and to see me finally make it, they were over the moon.”
Charlton was drafted to the Crows alongside Rachelle Martin and Ashleigh Woodland.