AFLW dream comes true for Warrnambool export Renee Saulitis

NEW HOME: Renee Saulitis is excited to start her AFLW journey after being drafted on Tuesday night. Picture: Morgan Hancock
NEW HOME: Renee Saulitis is excited to start her AFLW journey after being drafted on Tuesday night. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Renee Saulitis is ready to embrace a fresh challenge after becoming the first Warrnambool-based footballer to join the AFLW.

St Kilda snapped up Saulitis, 18, with pick 34 in Tuesday night's draft.

The Greater Western Victoria Rebels graduate, who goes to boarding school, watched the draft unfold online with her parents Brent and Raelene and brother Justin in Ballarat.

Saulitis said her mum booked out an Air B&B with lake views so they could watch the draft unfold as a family.

She said they shed tears when her name was read out and she became a Saint.

"It doesn't feel real that's for sure," Saulitis told The Standard minutes after being selected.

"They (St Kilda) were really good in the interviews, just saying how if they drafted me they would draft my family as well.

"They're big on family culture so that is really exciting. I just want to get stuck into it, meet all the girls and all the club staff."

Saulitis said she was "completely shocked" and was excited to share the moment at her boarding house as well.

She will be in school mode on Wednesday for the GAT test.

"It will be a bit hard to concentrate," she laughed.

Saulitis honed her skills in the Hampden league before advancing to the NAB League and earning Vic Country and AFL Academy honours.

She joins Emma Kearney (Cavendish), Georgia Clarke (Branxholme) and Maria Moloney (Garvoc) as south-west exports in the AFLW system.

St Kilda is also home to Portland export Rowan Marshall.

This story Saulitis snapped up in AFLW draft first appeared on The Standard.