The 25-year-old Warumungu woman will join the team for next year’s AFL Women’s League after being scouted at a talent search in July.
Anderson will debut as a rookie after making the switch from the soccer field. A midfielder in both sports, she has played for the last three seasons with the Hellenic Soccer Club in Darwin where she helped the team secure two premierships in the Darwin league.
In fact, until 24 hours beforehand she wasn’t even sure she would sign up for the talent trials but she told the AFL: "My Mum influenced me to do it. She told me to just have a go. And that's how I ended up with the Crows."
For Anderson the return to AFL is a return to her roots. She started out playing with her brothers in an Under-12s team in Katherine.
“I played alongside my brothers in juniors; I was the only girl at one stage,” she told Mamamia. “I was up there with the boys, I ended up coming out with Best and Fairest, and my brothers weren’t too impressed with that!”
Her brother Joe played with Carlton from 2007 to 2010 and younger brother Jed plays with North Melbourne after debuting with Hawthorn in 2013.
The siblings continue on the legacy left by their grandfather, Jimmy Anderson, who was a hero for the Darwin Buffaloes during the 1950's and 60's and has been inducted into the Northern Territory AFL Hall of Fame. Playing nine grand finals for his club he helped them secure three premierships. With a career spanning nearly two decades in the game he represented the NT five times, played two seasons with Western Australian team West Perth and coached Northern Territory teams for two seasons. He is a life member of both the Darwin Buffaloes and the Northern Territory Football League.
While Anderson hasn’t played AFL since her stint in the midfield in the 2013-14 Northern Territory Football League season for the Darwin Buffaloes, the promise of an AFL Women’s League was the spark she needed to switch sports.
“For women to have opportunities like this is unbelievable,” she said. “It’s just awesome that we finally have the chance to play at an elite level and show people what we’re really made of.”
Phil Harper from the Crows said “we’re really excited to have her involved… she’s got some real speed when she plays Aussie Rules. She’s got speed and aggression which are two things we’re going to need in this Women’s League when it starts up.”
With many players from up north joining the Adelaide side for next year’s comp the Crows assistant coach Andrew Hodges will coach the women in Darwin, running parallel training with the other players in Adelaide.
The move means Anderson won’t have to relocate and will make it easier for her to finish her primary education studies at Charles Darwin University and spend time with little Isaac.
“He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”