By Tara Murray
Sarah and Gemma Wright have spent many hours together on the same sporting court or field throughout their lives, but now they are going their separate ways.
The twins, who turned their attention to playing football with Keilor three years ago, were both picked up in the AFLW draft last Tuesday.
Sarah was taken at pick 32 by North Melbourne, two picks later, Gemma was taken at pick 34 by Geelong.
Both were excited for themselves and each other. They said celebrations didn’t start until after Gemma was picked.
“We watched it together, with Gem, family, family friends and Emma Kerry, who was our Keilor coach,” Sarah said.
“I was surprised to go, let alone go so early.
“They [North] had interviewed me and I’d had interviews with Geelong and Collingwood as well.
“Emma thought I might go to North in the second round. I was hoping it would be in the second round.”
Sarah, who along with her dad and grandmother are already North Melbourne supporters, said it all became real to her once her sister had been drafted as well.
Gemma said she had spoken to Geelong in the lead-up to the draft and thought she may have been a chance.
“They [family] were all really excited for us,” Gemma said.
“They were all waiting to get the second one of us called out to celebrate.
“My housemates are Geelong supporters and I think they were more excited than me.”
Neither sister said they could have imagined they would be on an AFLW list when they took up football three years ago. Until then they had both played basketball for the Hume City Broncos for several years
Sarah said football is the best sport in the world.
“I didn’t think about it [AFLW} when I left basketball,” Sarah said.
“I was expecting to play a few seasons of local football, having fun.
“A lot of mates gave me crap at the start for leaving basketball.”
Gemma said they turned to football because they were looking for something different.
“At that stage we weren’t going to go any further [with basketball] so we wanted to give football a go,” Gemma said.
“It was just more of having some fun and mucking around with our mates.
“I love it and I can’t get it enough.”
Both sisters had an instant impact at Keilor.
Sarah won the club and league best and fairests in her first two seasons of football.
Gemma finished runners-up in the club and third in the league best and fairest, in 2017 and runner-up to her sister in both awards in 2018.
This year the pair made the move to Carlton in the VFLW where Gemma claimed the club best and fairest.
Sarah, who finished runner-up, only started training four weeks before the season start after breaking her neck last year playing football.
“I went into the night not expecting to win anything,” Gemma said.
“Sarah beat me the first few times, I finally beat her this year.
“It’s hard as you want to see her do well. As long as we come first and second and keep it in the family, we’re happy.”
Sarah said it was good to see her sister claim the best and fairest award.
“The hardest thing about being a twin, is she’s my hardest competitor and my best friend.”
The sisters paid tribute to the work that Kerry had put in with them, first at Keilor, and then at Carlton where she is now an assistant coach.
The pair haven’t looked too far ahead and whether they might end up playing against each other.
Just once before they have been on different teams, when Gemma left the Hume City Broncos, to play at the Melbourne Tigers for one season.
Sarah got the bragging rights with the Broncos winning both games.