ALL AUSTRALIAN cult forward Sarah 'Tex' Perkins looks set to reject Melbourne clubs' overtures to stick with inaugural NAB AFL Women's premier Adelaide in 2018.
Perkins, 23, is a Victorian and left her partner behind to join the Crows after surprisingly being overlooked at the draft in October last year.
A post-draft meeting with Adelaide coach Bec Goddard convinced Perkins to sign as a free agent and move to South Australia, with the Crows just beating the Demons to the punch.
Perkins was able to secure a job transfer with Reece Plumbing, where she is a truck driver, and has no immediate plans to relocate back to Melbourne.
She had ankle surgery in Adelaide this week and the club reported she would be sidelined for up to six weeks.
Perkins is still expected to make intermittent appearances in the upcoming VFLW season for the Eastern Devils, where the full-forward booted 52 goals in 19 matches last year.
Her mother, Sandy, gave the first hint Perkins was going to remain in Adelaide when she spoke to AFL.com.au on AFLW Grand Final day.
"I think so," Sandy said, when asked whether Perkins would keep playing for the Crows.
"She's so happy over there, everyone just loves her and they made her feel at home right from the get-go."
Perkins and her manager, Inside 50's Cameron Read, were tight-lipped this week about her future, but Read said his client was "as happy as she's ever been with her footy".
Devils club president Jo Wotton echoed those sentiments, saying she expected Perkins to stay at Adelaide.
"She was devastated not to be picked up in Melbourne, but it's been the best thing for her," Wotton told AFL.com.au.
"In terms of where she is as a person and her evolution as a footy player, most people in Melbourne had made judgments, but that wasn't the case in Adelaide.
"Sometimes going where no-one knows you is daunting, but quite refreshing. She had the fire in the belly, because she didn’t get picked, but they threw her a lifeline and they won it."
Perkins quickly gained a mass following and a new nickname in the maiden AFLW season as she developed a trademark, arms-outstretched goal celebration.
She earned All Australian honours and kicked the competition's second-most goals (11), including four in a dominant performance against Collingwood to help Adelaide reach the Grand Final.
Perkins' effort to shed 40kg – and counting – to achieve her AFLW dream also captured the public's imagination.
The Eastern Devils had 14 players on AFLW lists in the first season and have recruited two more, Collingwood's marquee ruckman Emma King and midfielder Stacey Livingstone.