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Patient Pauga gets her chance on the big stage

Womens AFL star Mikayla Pauga holding an Aussie rules football in the air in front of the Arch.

by Grace Knight 

Bond’s own Mikayla Pauga made her AFLW debut with the Brisbane Lions in their round five match-up against the Richmond Tigers on Saturday.  

Pauga was drafted to the Lions in July 2021 and has been hard at work training with the team ever since, patiently awaiting her chance to unleash on the big stage.  

Currently ranked first on the AFLW ladder with many skilled players, Mikayla said the Brisbane Lions was a difficult team to break into.  

“I’ve been working really hard at this for a long time, and after waiting what seemed like forever, it feels so good to finally get my first game as it’s such a hard team to crack into,” she said.  

“After not getting any games last season, I am definitely feeling grateful for the opportunity to be able to play with the incredible group of girls we have this season.”  

In a relatively low scoring game, Pauga put her skills to use executing strong tackles and managing some touches in her half-forward position. Richmond won 18-14. 

She’s now waiting with anticipation to see if she’ll be selected in the team for this Sunday’s game against Essendon. 

On top of a busy training schedule with the Lions, Pauga continues to study a Bachelor of Psychology at Bond part-time and is set to graduate in September 2023.  

Pauga has also remained committed to her beloved Bull Sharks team, balancing Bond games during the 2022 QAFL season with the two AFLW seasons this year.  

“Bond has definitely been of great benefit in my football career as I’ve been able to work with some really great coaches within our super-supportive club environment,” she said. 

“Whenever I felt like I was under a lot of pressure, my network at Bond really helped me through it.” 

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