Brisbane Lions Womens player Emma Zielke poses during a portrait session at The Gabba on April 14.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Brisbane Lions Womens player Emma Zielke poses during a portrait session at The Gabba on April 14. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Media/Getty Images) Chris Hyde/AFL Media

Zielke joins the Brisbane Lions

AUSSIE RULES: When the new women's AFL competition starts next year, Bundaberg's Emma Zielke will be running out for the club of her dreams.

As a proud Queenslander who has captained her state, Zielke wanted to play for the Brisbane Lions - the club she also works at.

Unfortunately, though, there was a catch for the 28-year-old.

With the Lions already selecting other players with their priority picks, the Bundaberg product got told she may miss out on a chance to play and needed to think about nominating for the draft.

That was until last month when a secretly recorded meeting revealed the news she had been waiting for years to hear.

"They said they wanted to do some back ground filming, so I jumped to the table and then they let me know I was going to be their priority pick," she said.

"I was pretty shocked to be honest."

The signing news for Zielke came after she recently completed the Queensland Women's AFL season, with more honours going to the footballer.

She was named as part of their best 22 players for the year and finished as the runner-up in the medal count.

Zielke also did this as part of the University of Queensland team which went from bottom to a preliminary final.

The new Lion said it has been tough to deal with the loss after the team lost by two points last weekend.

"It's the first time in four years that I haven't made the grand final, she said.

"We happened to lose in the last minute, so it is a disappointing result."

The loss though has allowed Zielke to focus on the big job of preparing for the new league.

"Pre-season starts on November 21 for us," she said.

"My season has just finished so I'll take a little bit of rest before getting back into it next week."

Zielke said the lure of playing against stars from other sports, including Erin Phillips and Kim Mickle, was exciting.

"It's great for our game and its great to hear their stories and why they want to be involved," she said.

"It's attractive for all women to be in our sport now."

Zielke also hit back at those who have criticised the payments given to women players in the first season.

Players will get as little as $5000 to play for a full season but Zielke said people needed to recognise the competition was just starting.

"I think it is an alright starting point, obviously it could be better, but it's the first year and no one knows if it is going to succeed," she said.

"We've been playing footy for free, up until next year when we are going to get paid, so I'm not complaining about it," she said.

The women's AFL competition starts in February.



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