AFLW 2022: West Coast captain Emma Swanson reveals sacrifice to lead Eagles in Victoria

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockThe West Australian
West Coast captain Emma Swanson will use five weeks of her annual leave to lead the Eagles in Victoria.
Camera IconWest Coast captain Emma Swanson will use five weeks of her annual leave to lead the Eagles in Victoria. Credit: Paul Kane/via AFL Photos

West Coast captain Emma Swanson has made an extraordinary sacrifice to ensure she can lead the Eagles in their gruelling five-game interstate trip.

Both WA clubs will head to Victoria this week so the AFLW season goes ahead uninterrupted by border issues, despite the players being paid on a part-time basis.

Swanson’s participation had been in doubt due to her work as a firefighter.

The 26-year-old has had the difficult task of juggling her two passions which have caused her to previously miss training sessions or leave early for night shifts.

But the midfielder has taken her commitment to another level, using five weeks of her annual leave to ensure she can be a part of the Victorian stint.

“I do my last shift on the 14th and fly out the next day. I get about five weeks off, so hopefully, that should cover the amount of time we need to be in Melbourne for,” Swanson said.

“There’s a lot of girls who are doing the same things. Which in a way it’s a good thing that they can get away but obviously I’d love to see a future where players don’t have to use their annual leave to go and play footy.

Emma Swanson has spent years juggling football and being a firefighter.
Camera IconEmma Swanson has spent years juggling football and being a firefighter. Credit: Paul Kane/via AFL Photos

“There’s a part of me that would love to use my annual leave for a holiday post-season, but at the same time our footy careers are so short so I am willing to do whatever it takes to get over there and play footy.”

Swanson said the Eagles would use the time away to come together as a team and educate their younger players.

“We’ve got a young group, so a lot of them only work part-time or some just study and some aren’t working at all, so for them to go away and have a taste of being full-time footballers, everyone’s excited,” Swanson said.

“We’re connected off-field, we’re a bunch of good friends. So it’s going to be like a footy trip with best mates.

“It’s going to be a lot about finding the balance with what’s too much footy and what we can take advantage of and where the opportunities lie.

“I think for the young girls in particular there’s a little more opportunity to talk to coaches or watch some vision or do some extra touch sessions that we might not get during the week due to the limited hours.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails