Just 12 months ago Rebecca Beeson didn’t know if she would ever play a game of football again.
On Saturday, she will run out alongside some of her best friends and teammates, celebrating her 50th game in the AFLW competition.
The 2019 Gabrielle Trainor Medallist had been a mainstay in the GIANTS’ line up since day one but concussion complications over the past 12 months not only had her sidelined but had her questioning her future in the game.
As she plays all bar one game for season 2023, the 50-game milestone is reached with an extra sentiment for appreciation.
“Yeah there was a time where my future in the game was a bit clouded,” she admitted.
“I wasn’t sure if I would ever play again, let alone make it to 50 games.
“It’s been a pretty long rehab process to come back, so to be playing and to reach 50 games is a big milestone for me personally.”
Drafted from the NSW pathway, the former UNSW-ES Bulldog started her journey in the inaugural season, one of just two foundation GIANTS remaining.
“I can’t believe it's been eight seasons,” Beeson said.
“A lot's happened in those eight seasons, both on and off the field for me and also the team.
“I can remember season one like it was not that long ago. I was 19 when I was drafted, and I've essentially grown up here and grown up with a lot of these girls.
“It’s been a great journey to date and yeah the club just feels like another family for me.”
As she reflected on her past eight seasons and past 49 games to date, she acknowledged not only her achievements and milestones on field, but those off the field – all of which we know complements an athlete in today’s society
“I've probably just grown a hell of a lot, to be honest,” she said.
“As I said I came in as a 19/20 year old, I was pretty quiet and kept to myself. So it's probably just been good to see growth in that area. Being in the leadership group this year as well is something that is really special and means a lot to me.
While Beeson has an extra appreciation for each time she pulls on the orange and charcoal, there’s still plenty she hopes to achieve.
“I hope there is some more milestones yet to come,” she said.
“I want to play finals. I’ve only played one final in eight seasons, so yeah that’s goal for me and the team over the next few seasons.
“And just everything and anything I can do to help this team be successful.”
Beeson will celebrate the 50-game milestone alongside teammate Jasmine Grierson when the GIANTS take on the Power on Saturday.
The milestone for Beeson will also recognise 50 club games, joining four others on the honour board in Cora Staunton, Nicola Barr, Alicia Eva and Pepa Randall.
The GIANTS take on Port Adelaide at Alberton Oval on Saturday at 3:05pm EDT.