From the Perth Football League to the AFLW in the space of nine games, it’s been an incredible start to the year for Wembley star Megan Kauffman.
She was taken by Fremantle Dockers in the AFLW draft with pick 77 last fortnight, becoming the first female to be selected straight from the amateurs.
Kauffman is a former US College tennis player who rose to as high as No.9 in the NCAA doubles rankings. She always wanted to play football and follow in the footsteps of her dad Steven who played for Geelong’s VFL Reserves side.
Tennis commitments had always prevented her from playing footy until she returned home from America and what an introduction to the sport it has been.
The 25-year-old made her debut for Wembley in the Perth Football League CTF Women’s B Grade in Round One of 2022.
Eight games later, she was selected to play in the PFL representative state side against WA Country and was awarded best on ground under the eye of Fremantle Dockers AFLW Coach Trent Cooper.
Kauffman put together a monster display as an inside midfielder for the Perth Football League as they snuck home by two points over the WA Country Football League.
“When my name showed up, there was a lot of emotion,” Kauffman said.
“On draft night I was trying not to get too excited. I think I had more of a hope and an inkling coming from Freo. I had just spoken to them a bit more, so when I was looking at their picks coming up, my ears were pricked when they had a selection.
“I think for me, the timing was just good in terms of where I’m at with life and everything that’s happening around me. I wanted to take this opportunity and see if I can get there.”
Kauffman credits an abundance of AFLW types at Wembley with putting her name on West Coast and Fremantle’s radar. Retired Eagle Parris Laurie coaches Wembley, Fremantle specialist coach Amy Lavell plays up forward and Dockers superstar Kiara Bowers’ partner Adele Coxall also plays for Wembley.
“I think the fact that Freo and the team have been speaking to me and the fact that they’ve drafted me shows that they believe in me,” she said.
“In that sense, that gives me belief in myself. I know my abilities and I know that I have a lot to learn, and I’m just super eager to do that and to learn all the players and coaches at Freo.
“I think there is a lot of hidden talent in the amateur competition. WAFLW teams have looked at the PFL because the talent is there and now AFLW teams are looking. If other players get picked out of ammos, I think it’s great for the league and for women’s footy.
Kauffman wasn’t the only Wembley product snared by the Dockers, with Irishwoman and former Magpies player Amy Mulholland taken with the club’s next pick.
Mulholland starred for Wembley last season, winning the CTF Women’s C1 Premiership and Best & Fairest Award before moving to Subiaco in the WAFLW this year.
Former West Coast player Madi Scanlon was also drafted by Fremantle on the night with the club’s first pick after her move from the amateurs to Claremont.
Amy Mulholland, Megan Kauffman & Madi Scanlon