By Ant Wingard
Just twelve months ago, Georgia Brehmer fell into football purgatory.
Then, the midfielder was hoping to be selected in the 2018 NAB AFLW Draft where she would fulfil her dreams of landing at an AFLW club.
That dream never panned out when Brehmer was overlooked.
The result – a non-selection in the Queensland draft pool which featured only the one club – was a bitter pill to swallow for the then 18-year-old.
Not only did it mean her AFLW dream was put on hold, it was an anticlimax to a season which was spent almost meticulously fixed on preparing for that one moment.
“Last year, my life was fully consumed with footy,” Brehmer told aflq.com.au.
“I had put so much stress and pressure on myself. I had a reasonable year with my footy but it probably wasn’t my best year.
“[When I was overlooked], I remembered I cried. All of my friends got picked up and I was really down.”
While a souring moment for the Brehmer camp, the 2018 draft was now not seen as the end point in a one-year journey but instead became the catalyst for a series of changes that would catapult her right back into draft consideration 12 months down the line.
“It motivated me to work harder and aim for this year instead,” Brehmer said about the 2018 draft.
The changes came thick and fast and helped transformed her life on and off the field.
Perhaps the most evident was her swap of QAFLW clubs where she joined forces with Bond University after playing for Yeronga South Brisbane in the 2018 season.
The Bull Sharks mirrored something else that had arisen in her life – university study – and while difficult at times, it helped provide the life balance she yearned for.
— AFL Queensland (@AFLQ) October 15, 2019
The Sports Management student says having that second facet of her life has been vital and after falling out of love with football in 2018, it has helped rekindle her passion for the game once again.
With her disposition now trending upward, other facets of Brehmer’s life continued to take shape.
On the field, Brehmer starred for the Bull Sharks through midfield where they claimed the minor premiership and earned a maiden Grand Final berth.
When she was off the field and away from the textbooks, Brehmer was improving her strength and conditioning.
“I have grown not only as a footballer but as a person. I feel like I’ve really matured going to uni (sic) and having that extra thing in my life that I’ve been able to focus on.”
“When I go to footy, I find myself focusing far more. I enjoyed my football which was something really different.”
Her improved presence on and off the field has soon paid dividends.
She was one of six Queenslanders invited to the NAB AFLW Draft Combine in Melbourne a fortnight ago, and while she didn’t test due to injury, her presence meant she was certainly in the frame this time around.
This year, with the arrival of the Gold Coast SUNS in the AFL Women’s also bodes positively for Brehmer.
While she admits she would have loved to be selected by the Brisbane Lions in last year’s draft, the Beenleigh Buffaloes product has her roots firmly in the SUNS camp.
Brehmer played a role in the formalising the SUNS’ AFLW license bid and worked as a ball girl behind the goals at Metricon Stadium.
“It’s crazy because I’ve been around the SUNS since I was so little,” she said.”
“The day that the SUNS got a license, I think I cried. I remember back then and helping them put their license together.”
With the NAB AFL Women’s Draft now less than one week away, Brehmer says it would be a dream to be drafted by the SUNS but admits another club could still select her.
“I’d be happy to go anywhere but the dream is to go to the SUNS.”
“They’re my second family and I’d love to properly represent them at AFLW level.
“I can’t explain how much it’d mean to be selected.”