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From Bull Sharks to Sydney Swans

Growing up with a dad who played for the Wallabies, Kate Reynolds didn’t know what Aussie Rules was until she was 15. Now she’s playing for the Sydney Swans.

Reynolds, 24, made her AFLW debut last weekend, six years after her first game for Bond University in which she broke a Burleigh Bombers player’s collarbone.

Her dad Ross, a 10-cap Wallaby, presented her with her jersey before the Swans faced Collingwood at Victoria Park.

“It was a pretty intense build up. The emotion hit me that I was about to play AFLW but I woke up on Sunday and went into game mode,” Reynolds said.

“I’m pretty happy with how I played, I think it’s a good benchmark for where I can go. It was pretty surreal.”

The ruck/forward remembers walking into the Bull Sharks sign-on day in 2016 and coaches reacting with excitement to her height.

A year later Reynolds captained the Bull Sharks to the QAFLW premiership and graduated from her Bond Business degree.

During her four seasons with the club Reynolds put her ‘heart and soul’ into transforming the Bull Sharks from a ‘small program’ into Australia’s premier women’s football nursery. Bond has produced more AFLW players than any other club over the past six years.

“Building a program from grassroots all the way to QAFLW really built my leadership and my resilience in the game,” Reynolds said.

“There are a lot of ups and downs when you’re building a program from scratch and trying to recruit girls from different sports.

“I can genuinely attribute a lot of my success now to my time at Bond.”

Reynolds, who stayed on as a train-on player for the Swans after being overlooked by the club for the 2022 Draft, was a late inclusion to Sydney’s list.

A phone call outside a Woolworths a fortnight ago changed everything.

“(Swans coach) Scott Gowans called me to say he was impressed with how I had been at training and he wanted to offer me a spot.

“Then it was a whirlwind of signing documents, medical appointments, getting my playing kit and having headshots taken.”

Reynolds is juggling three nightly training sessions with her fulltime job with Channel Nine in Sydney where she boasts a lengthy title: Product Commercialisation Manager of Digital Audio.

She explains she finds ways to make money through advertising on podcasts, live streams and radio.

“I am pretty proud of myself to have the job I do at the age I am,” she said.

“The quicker degrees at Bond meant I could get into the working world earlier and climb the ladder.

“I did a Silicon Valley trip as one of my subjects and all of that exposure means you’re ahead of the curve compared to other people.”

Round three of the AFLW season sees the Swans takes on Greater Western Sydney at the SCG in the first Sydney derby.

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