How a chance meeting brought former Sun back to AFLW

WALKING back in the door at West Lakes was like returning home for Adelaide recruit Jasmyn Hewett.

The tall utility last played for the Crows in a practice match in 2019, badly injuring her ankle ("all bar breaking it") in a ruck contest which ruled her out for the season.

A Darwin-based player at the time, she moved to Gold Coast for its inaugural season in 2020 after the Northern Territory zone changed from South Australia to Queensland, playing six of seven games.

Sun Jasmyn Hewett in action during the 2020 semi-final against the Dockers. Picture: AFL Photos

Hewett then opted to sit out of the 2021 season due to work commitments at Territory Insurance Office as part of the Motor Accident Commission in Darwin, where she helps process claims for those who are recovering from car accidents.

"I'd suffered a pretty significant injury at the start of 2019 and the Suns were awesome with my rehab and getting me back to a point where I could play. But my body probably wasn't still 100 per cent through that season," Hewett told womens.afl.

"It gave me a chance to recover properly, being in pain after games was starting to wear a bit thin, so I just needed some time away from the game, really focus on my work and life in Darwin too."

WHO’S WEARING WHAT? New recruits’ AFLW jumper numbers revealed

Hewett returned to the NTFLW competition in its 2020-21 summer season, playing in a premiership with Pint and taking out the Gwynne medal as the competition's best and fairest.

"It was a really fun season. I absolutely adore the league up in Darwin. They run it really, really well, and all the people who do it simply play because they absolutely love the game and they want to grow the competition," Hewett said.

"My team are dead-set legends, they're a great bunch of people who all want to succeed together. We hadn't won a premiership before, and it was such a great feeling.

"I thoroughly loved going back to grassroots footy. It ignited that flame in me again, and made me really want to drive and pursue [AFLW] once more."

Jasmyn Hewett contests the ruck during the AFLW NAB All Stars Match on September 25, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

A chance meeting between Adelaide's Chelsea Randall and Hewett's best friend – a teacher at a school where the Crows ran a footy clinic – alerted the former that Hewett was still keen to play AFLW, and the skipper quickly got on the phone.

"I said I was interested in getting back into it, and felt like I had some unfinished business, I haven't really achieved what I wanted to in that space," she said.

"She encouraged me to reach out to the staff at the Crows, so I emailed Phil Harper (head of women's footy) and he responded straight away and said they were 100 per cent interested.

"I had calls coming through checking if I was genuine, and then all of a sudden I was heading down to Adelaide to have a chat."

Jasmyn Hewett at Adelaide training in November 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Hewett joins a fairly strong talls cohort at the Crows, even with Rhiannon Metcalfe on the inactive list due to work commitments.

She'll be working with the improving Caitlin Gould and youngsters Montana McKinnon and Zoe Prowse, while rookie and basketballer Jasmine Simmons stands at 180cm.

"It's been a bit surreal to be back, but to be honest, it just felt like coming home. South Australia is my home state, so the Crows feel like home," Hewett said.

EVERY CLUB’S LIST Your squad for the 2022 season

"The message I've received through pre-season so far is because I am so versatile, they don't necessarily want me to have just one position in my mind. They are pretty genuine that I could be playing anywhere, and to keep that in the back of my mind.

"For me at the moment, it’s about proving my football skills in every aspect of the game, the more versatile I am the more chance I have of playing. I'm just absolutely loving every second of it so far."