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AFLW: Like brother, like sister for Bulldogs rookie

Tessa Boyd has followed big brother Tom to the Whitten Oval - AFLW,Tessa Boyd,Western Bulldogs,Tom Boyd
Tessa Boyd has followed big brother Tom to the Whitten Oval

FOR TESSA Boyd, her first season in the NAB AFL Women's competition for the Western Bulldogs will be her first playing football.

The high-level basketballer is confident, but goes in with no expectations.

The 175cm Boyd would have played footy during her teenage years had the various teams she tried out for not folded soon afterwards, which she took as a sign to stick with basketball.

Instead, her only experience with a Sherrin was during her school days at Luther College in Melbourne's outer east, when she took part in informal games played on a much smaller ground than normal and which would be cut short if there were injuries or bad weather.

There also were the backyard sessions with her father and her elder brother Tom, who would later become the No.1 selection in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft and was close to best on ground when the Western Bulldogs won the premiership in 2016.

During off-seasons, when Tom didn't have someone to kick with, Tessa would fill that void.

Her opportunity to join the AFLW came about after she attended a tryout for the Dogs' VFLW side earlier this year.

She was accepted but couldn't play because of her commitments with the Nunawading Spectres in the South East Australian Basketball League, where she has spent the past two seasons.

However, when list manager Michael Sandry called later and offered her a rookie contract for 2019, Boyd didn't hesitate.

"I didn't have to think about it for a second. I said yes straight away," Boyd told AFL.com.au.

It's been different, but Boyd is relishing her chance.

"I love a challenge, so being put through my strides in a sport that I'm probably not that experienced in is quite exciting and fun," Boyd said.

Being at the Dogs with Tom is reminiscent of her childhood, when the pair played at the same basketball club.

Like typical siblings, they are competitive and bicker a lot but are "pretty tight".

The 21-year-old will keep shooting hoops in winter (when the SEABL season runs) and although the Spectres began training last Tuesday, her sessions at Whitten Oval will be the priority during summer.

Her speed and agility mean she could be suited to roles on any part of the ground, and although Boyd hasn't put too much thought into it yet, she has a preference.

"I'd like to give the midfield a shot, because it would be challenging, and I think I'd fit in quite well," said Boyd, who would have to be elevated to the primary list before she would be eligible to play.

"Mind you, I'm up against other girls as well. Wherever there's a spot available, I'm happy to fill that."