She has navigated her way through injury, a pandemic and life as a new mother. Now Krystal Scott will return to AFLW after signing with the Gold Coast Suns.
The Bull Sharks player was one of three mature-age signatures to come ahead of the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft which puts her back in the AFLW game for the first time since 2019.
The 27-year-old played a spectacular first year of football as part of Bond’s 2017 premiership side which rewarded her with a rookie spot at the Brisbane Lions in 2018.
An unexpected foot injury sidelined Scott for almost a year and landed her in rehab before she made a return to The Canal to regain strength in the QAFLW competition.
“To say I’m excited is probably an understatement,” Scott said.
“I’ve been playing for Bond for the last three seasons, training with the intent to get back on an AFLW list.
“I was training with the Lions a little bit over the last couple of years to keep me involved in that level, and I’ve been really honoured to have this opportunity with the Gold Coast Suns this year.”
From recovering from injury to having a baby, Scott’s AFLW comeback has been challenging and she feels honoured by the Suns’ recognition.
“I think all athletes experience injury at some point in their career but I went off and studied, my partner and I had a baby, and a lot of things happened in the last few years that I suppose could have stopped me,” she said.
“Fighting through all that and not giving up, it’s really humbling to know that the Suns have decided that I’m going to be a good fit for their club and the direction they’re going to take you.
“I’m just really honoured to have the opportunity. I think the club’s got so much potential. It’s still very young in its existence so I’m just excited to be a part of it for as long as I can.”
With a background in elite tennis, the Adelaide-born athlete transitioned to AFL with the encouragement of four older brothers and a father who played the sport, and Bond’s coaching staff who were eager to give Scott a chance.
“The dream was to play tennis at the top level and I got to a very high level but not to the point where it was your full-time career,” she said.
“There were opportunities coming up with AFLW and after talking to David Ashkar at Bond, it just felt like the time was right to make a change if I was going to.
“When I started there, we were playing Div 1 and we were a local club that just loved the game.
“I’ve just had a really quick transition to football and it’s really worked out for me.
“I’m very lucky to have the opportunities that I did.”