AFLW grand finale: Brisbane star Kate Lutkins returns to fairy tales

A yr that acquired off to a stunning begin for Brisbane Lions star Kate Lutkins is about for a fairytale that may conclude with Sunday’s AFLW grand finale.

Enjoying once more in 2022, not to mention in a deciding competitors, appeared like an virtually unattainable job for Lutkins after she tore her anterior cruciate ligament in January.

The harm occurred early within the first of two AFLW seasons this yr.

Returning anytime throughout that season was not an possibility for Lutkins, and taking part in within the 2022 sophomore season was a shot at greatest.

Nevertheless, the 34-year-old defender defied the percentages to return to motion in early October.

And all the celebs appeared to have aligned for Lutkins, with the Brisbane grand closing towards Melbourne being his fiftieth AFLW match and he performed on the Lions’ new dwelling base Brighton Properties Enviornment in Springfield, a suburb of his hometown Ipswich.

“I am actually proud to be within the closing dance on the finish of the season with the women,” she stated.

“It is fairly unbelievable. It is good that it is my fiftieth.

“I am fairly excited to be taking part in right here in Ipswich, which is my hometown, with my household subsequent to me watching.”

Lutkins’ pleasure is combined with emotions of aid and gratitude after a couple of “darkish days” throughout his rehabilitation from his harm.

“I have been so fortunate with my restoration from surgical procedure that I’ve had such a terrific crew round me,” she stated.

“There are some ladies within the crew who’ve had the identical process, so I actually leaned on them and the crew and the employees.

“The ladies round me have been wonderful, permitting me to play my position each week.”

And whereas such help has been essential to her comeback, Lutkins – who was man of the match in Brisbane’s 2021 grand closing win – would by no means have jeopardized the Lions’ premiership hopes if she felt she wasn’t prepared. to play once more.

“I am actually aggressive and really cussed and I like a problem,” Lutkins stated.

“As soon as the season went on, I needed to do my greatest to return inside this season.

“It has been seven video games and from the beginning I had confidence in my knee.

“In any other case I would not have been on the market and the employees would not have let me return on the market.”

A Lions victory on Sunday wouldn’t solely be a becoming approach for Lutkins to cap off his return from harm, however additional reward for Brisbane mentor Craig Starcevich, who was appointed senior supervisor of the membership for the second time this week. yr of the AFL Coaches Affiliation AFLW.

“He is a reasonably real human being, Craig,” Lutkins stated.

“He is actually approachable, he is actually good at making small discuss, he is actually passionate and he actually cares concerning the ladies.

“He is actually obsessed with taking good care of them and ensuring they’re glad and dealing in direction of a function.

“It offers us that function, and it is simply wonderful. He places his coronary heart and soul into this crew.

“What you see is what you get with Craig.”

Initially launched as AFLW Grand Finale: The Fairytale Return of Brisbane Star Kate Lutkins