She might have suffered a broken nose during a pre-season scratch match, but Shanae Davison says her AFLW debut was a surreal moment she will never forget. The Broome product ran out in West Coast Eagles colours for the first time when she took part in the pre-season derby against Fremantle Dockers recently. Davison joined the Eagles’ nest when they selected her as pick 18 in the AFLW Draft in October. She said running out in blue and yellow to the Eagles song was a surreal moment. “It really sunk in that I have made it to AFLW and I’m playing for the Eagles in that moment,” she said. “It was really good to get out there and put everything I have learned to the test against girls that have been in the league longer than I have and old teammates from WAFLW. I came off second-best and broke my nose, so that was an interesting welcome to AFLW.” Raised in Broome, Davison first took part in Auskick, then played junior football for the Cable Beach and Saints football clubs. “I always just remember being the only girl in the team and all of the boys and my coaches were all so good,” she said. “Everyone just kind of went with it since all of my friends were the boys that played footy anyway, it wasn’t a big deal for everyone.” Davison later moved to Perth and discovered women’s football through basketball teammates. “One of my mates was playing for Noranda in the community footy league and they were running low on players so she convinced me to come down,” she said. “I had been wanting to get back into footy but I didn’t know too much about women’s footy since I was used to playing with the boys. It wasn’t until that year at Noranda that it started getting serious for me, so I worked my way up to play for Swan Districts in WAFLW. “My coach was Kara Antonio, who plays for Fremantle, so she was a great help in getting me on the right path.” Davison made a bid for the 2019 AFLW Draft but was overlooked. She said getting drafted last year made her feel all of her hard work throughout the year had paid off. “Not many people realise that there’s so much time that gets put into footy with training and travel time, and everything was so different to what I was used to,” she said. “To be able to overcome all of that and injuries, it was just a dream come true. Growing up, I did not think something like this would be able to happen.” Davison said the rapid growth of women’s footy in Australia, including Broome, had been really cool to see. “When we were growing up, it just wasn’t an option and while it was cool to play with the boys, you get to a point where it is too rough,” she said. “To be able to play and watch AFLW, it’s a dream for everyone now, not just the boys.” Davison said she would love to return to Broome and lead football clinics like teammates Alicia Janz, Imahra Cameron and Cassie Davidson. “For them to be able to give back, it means so much and I would love to be able to do the same in the future,” she said.