ALYSSIA Pisano can't quite believe her luck.
Drafted with pick No.5, the classy small forward has landed at Melbourne, after the Dees traded out Casey Sherriff and Eliza West to Hawthorn and moved up the draft order.
While the Demons crashed out of finals in straight sets last season, they're still set to be one of the top sides again in 2024.
"I can't believe it, I'm still in shock. I was fan-girling, if I'm being honest. It's always awesome being presented a jumper by an AFLW star (Kate Hore), I've got no words to describe it," Pisano told afl.com.au.
"I'm definitely looking forward to playing with Kate Hore, Tayla Harris, Alyssa Bannan, a lot of the girls, honestly. I'm just so thrilled to be at a club like the Dees, and I'm just going to put my best foot forward."
Pisano was eligible to sign with Hawthorn through the expansion club pre-signing period, but opted to go into the general draft pool, nominating for Victoria.
"I really wanted to experience the draft in its full way, and it's something I've always wanted since becoming drafted was an option," she said.
"It was a hard decision, but I'm very happy with the decision I've made. I've stayed true to myself, and the night was amazing, I definitely won't forget it."
Pisano ruptured her ACL in 2022, but picked up where she left off in 2023, kicking 10 goals in her first two matches back with Eastern Ranges in the Coates Talent League.
"I was just going into the year to enjoy it and just have fun and make the most of it. Being able to go out there and find my feet and do what I do best was awesome," she said.
"It made me feel really confident coming back in, that all the work I've done has paid off."
The Ranges – based in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne – were the most successful side at the draft and expansion pre-signing period, with eight players graduating to the AFLW.
"I can't believe it, it's awesome. At the start of the year, we went through a PowerPoint as to how many girls can get drafted, and we've gone really well as to the output we got into the AFLW," Pisano said.
"I'm so proud, and it shows the hard work that's gone on during the year with Ash (Close, coach), and the girls themselves."