“I thought it was really strange. I’d never seen girls play footy before!"
“My brother had a baby. They were due at the end of November and she had a lot of complications and I was up in Brisbane. It was really hard being away from the family.”
“I was 27 at the time, as well, so I couldn’t keep flying up and back every six months. That’s when I made the decision to come home.”
But Ashmore exited the Lions headquarters on good terms and is extremely grateful for the opportunity the club gave her.
“I appreciate everything they did for me up in Brisbane. It really got me out of my comfort zone.”
“But I love being back home. It’s just so much easier to go up to road to Ballarat and see the family.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing when Ashmore made the call to move back to Victoria to continue her AFLW for Season 2019 and she respects the other women who have done the same in the AFLW.
“I got a bit of flak, moving, but everyone, including myself, had reasons for moving,” Ashmore said.
“I read that Katie [Brennan] wanted a fresh start and there’s no better way to do that then to be with another club.”
And Ashmore herself, can attest that making a much-needed move can reignite your passion and lead you down another exciting path, on another exciting journey for a new football team.
Her first season with North Melbourne, although tough with a completely new side, was a rewarding experience for the local girl from down the highway.
“Coming together for the first time was really hard, but there was glimpses of us gelling really well.”
“I’m still wrapping my head around the idea that’s it’s over. It was such a big build up for North,” said Ashmore.
But Ashmore knows that she’d do it all again; from giving up athletics, to taking up the game of AFL at 12, to the move to Brisbane to follow her dreams and back home to continue them. This is what she was born to do.
“Getting out of my comfort zone is the best thing I’ve had to do.”