Joanne Doonan has described her move to Carlton Blues in the AFLW as a dream come true.

The Fermanagh Ladies captain will fly out to Australia in November to start pre-season having earned a contract with the club for the 2020 season and becomes the first Irish born player to sign for the club.

“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was not something that I was going to turn down. It is something that you can only dream of,” explained a delighted Joanne.

It all started with a training camp back in May where Doonan obviously caught the eye.

“There was a camp in May called Crosscoders at Athlone IT and anyone could apply for it. I did skill videos and stuff like that before the camp and everything was sent to Australian clubs.

“Then it was just a matter at the camp of fitness tests and different game situations and then it was all recorded and all that detail was sent to the clubs and it went from there,” she said.

The call then came that Carlton Blues wanted to see more of her and the week prior to Fermanagh’s All Ireland semi-final against London saw Doonan jump on a plane for Australia.

“It was a flying visit, I only landed on the Friday night about 11pm and I was up Saturday morning working with the club.

“It was exciting to see it but it literally didn’t feel like I was away as I was back before I realised it,” she explained.

The club told her that they would then get back to her by the end of the week with an answer but as it turns out see didn’t have that long to wait.

“On Monday night I had trained with the team and I left to go home on the Tuesday. They said they would let me know by the end of the week but whenever I got off on the connecting flight in Hong Kong they called to say that I had earned a contract.

“It is an honour to get picked because there was 39 or 40 girls at the camp and a lot of fantastic players,” stated Joanne.

Mind you she didn’t have much time to think about it as by the Saturday she was helping Fermanagh see off London to book their place in the All Ireland final.

And that is where her entire focus is as she gets ready to lead Fermanagh out at Croke Park on September 15.

“It is great that I have this and I’m not thinking will I get it or not and I can now put it to the back of my mind and focus on Fermanagh. That is my main focus for now and it is an exciting two weeks coming up.”

Then the focus can switch to AFLW and getting ready for the new season and a new sport.

“It is quite a bit different even in terms of kicking the ball and the mark is different but I have the Sherrin ball and I just keep practising with it. They have also gave me programmes to work on the strength and conditioning side of it and then the pre-season camp starts in November. I’m really looking forward to it,” she added.