Early birthday present for Doonan with Grand Final win

An early birthday present for Joanne Doonan came in the form of a VFLW premiership win on Sunday.

Doonan, who turned 28 on Monday, joined the Bombers in February and has played a big role as the club landed it’s first premiership title.

The Kinawley woman scored a goal just before half time in Sunday’s Grand Final as they defeated Southern Saints 42-7 and caps off a perfect start to her career Down Under as she now embarks on her AFL journey, having been signed by the club for their forthcoming inaugural campaign.

“It was just nice to get on the scoreboard in such a big game.

“I feel that I did okay. I really enjoy big days like that and I was trying to enjoy it and take it in.

“It meant a lot and a class way to finish a deadly season. It really was.

“I know everybody says that they have a good team but it really was a good team, definitely a team that will have a special place in my heart.

“They got me back into AFL but I did feel that I knew the girls. I felt like I played the season with them and it is really hard to come by, a good team culture like that. I am delighted to have experienced that with Aussie Rules, as well as home.”

Doonan had little time to celebrate her birthday or the win, as she was straight back into training on Monday evening with the Essendon’s AFL side. They have their first game on August 27 against Hawthorn;

“We only have seven weeks before the first game starts, so it is pretty hectic and pretty straight into it but to be honest, it is probably better for us because we are coming off the back of a season were we don’t lose any fitness. It is just a matter of pushing on from that. We are in a good position.

“Don’t get me wrong, it would have been nice to have had a bit of a break in between and a bit of a blow out but I can’t really complain.
“It is an unreal opportunity and I have been looking forward to putting the head down again and using what I have learned and bringing that into the AFL. I am really looking forward to it.”

Following the victory Doonan was humbled by the amount of congratulatory messages she received;

“Similar to the last time I was over here, no matter what level it is at, it is still a final and a massive achievement to get there. I am still blown away by the amount of people that wrote to me that I didn’t even think were interested.”