Ararat Eagles' Caroline Rafferty never thought netball would make her somewhat of a local legend when she started the sport at the age of four.
As soon as she mentions her team's B Grade 2018 premiership and her pregnancy in the same sentence, people start putting two and two together.
Yes, she was the lady who played in a grand final 31 weeks pregnant. Rafferty said it came to her as just as big of a surprise as everyone else.
"It was a token game to be part of the team, I put my dress on and sat on the bench," she said.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have to play - let alone almost the whole game.
"Unfortunately Gretchen Potter dislocated her knee so I had to jump on in the first quarter and play out the game.
"It was more for a show to have people on the bench as we had some injuries late into the season and very limited numbers."
Joking about how the day panned out Rafferty said it was a bit of a blur.
"It all happened so quickly - I was like right I'm on, I need somebody to bend down and help me get my pants off," she said.
"I was playing against a nurse so I wasn't too concerned. I did what I was able and capable to do for the team."
Rafferty gave birth to a little girl in December, adding to the four girls she already had. "There was no celebrating after that grand final win," she said.
"I celebrated by going to bed and getting my kids to get me heat packs and bring me everything."
Rafferty was introduced to the Ararat Eagles in 2011 by friend, Paula Dent.
"Being from Melbourne and Geelong and studying in Ballarat, I never experienced what country football and netball clubs were," she said.
"I joined the club then and as my daughters have gotten older, they play too."
Getting back into the action for the 2019 season, Rafferty has worked on her fitness during the off-season.
"I purchased a treadmill and dropped it on my foot - so that wasn't a great start," she said.
"But I'm just hoping to get back to full fitness and enjoy my netball."
Ararat Eagles won't be entering a side into the Mininera A Grade competition this season.
Hawkesdale-Macarthur will have the bye after being drawn to play Ararat in round one.
Caramut will host Glenthompson-Dunkeld, Lismore-Derrinallum travels to Great Western, Moyston-Willaura takes on Penshurst, reigning premiers Woorndoo-Mortlake travel to play SMW Rovers and runners-up Tatyoon play Wickliffe-Lake Bolac.
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