A dream come true with the navy Blues

Castlemaine's Tiahna Cochrane is living a dream come true after getting drafted as a Carlton Rookie in the AFLW. Photo: Carlton Media

Castlemaine's Tiahna Cochrane is living a dream come true after getting drafted as a Carlton Rookie in the AFLW. Photo: Carlton Media

A dream come true is the way Castlemaine's Tiahna Cochrane describes being drafted to Carlton in the AFLW.

For the 19-year-old who last year lost her mum to cancer it's also powerfully uplifting news after some particularly tough years for herself and her family.

The Castlemaine teen, who spent this season with the Bendigo Thunder, has been recruited by the Blues who selected the midfielder with pick number five in the 2017 AFL Women's rookie draft.

"It's honestly such an incredible feeling and I'm so grateful to have been given the opportunity. It's fantastic," Tiahna told The Castlemaine Mail yesterday.

"I'm thrilled to have been given the opportunity. I'm so excited because the club has a really big history and I can't wait to pull on the navy blue jumper."

Tiahna cemented her on-field reputation this season playing with the premiership-winning Bendigo Thunder, sharing the club's Best and Fairest award and also taking out the Northern Football League women's coaches player of the year award.

She says the advent of AFL women's footy is opening up a raft of new and exciting opportunities for young footy-loving girls.

"It definitely gives them a lot more options I think. Young girls coming up through the ranks now have girls that they can look up to and aspire to be like. Girls can make their dreams come true now.

"It is a dream come true for me.

"The last few years for me and my family have been very tough. But obviously I'm doing this because I love football and I'm doing this for my mum as well.

"She's always here in spirit. No doubt she'll have the best seat in the house when we start."

Tiahna, who completed her primary schooling at Castlemaine's St Mary's and her secondary schooling at Catholic College in Bendigo, took up footy at the age of 10.

"I played junior football with my brothers when I was about 10 and I joined the youth girls' side when they introduced it in Castlemaine in 2012 and played at Castlemaine for four years and then I was lucky enough to join The Thunder this year and I had a ball, it was a fantastic season," she said.

Since completing year 12 last year she has been accepted into a sports science degree with Deakin University but this year deferred her studies to work with her grandmother's Castlemaine real estate business.

Football runs deep in her DNA as her great uncle is Carlton Team of the Century member Trevor Keogh while her uncle Rod Keogh played for St Kilda and Melbourne.

And that family link to the Blues is a fact not lost on Tiahna's close-knit family including her four siblings; twin brother Jordan, 18-year-old brother Tyson, 14-year-old sister Ella and nine-year-old sister Hannah.

"Everyone's over the moon. Obviously they'd be happy for me to go to any club but the fact that we've had family that have played at Carlton before and now I'm lucky enough to go there too. They're very excited."

With running, sprints and weights all part of her fitness regime, Tiahna's thoughts are now focusing on training from late next month.

"I've been down there a couple of times and from what I've seen (women's senior coach) Damien (Keeping) and the coaching panel have established a really good culture of inclusiveness with strong core values, and the club isn't setting any limits on what it can achieve next year so I'm really excited to get into it and get into training in late November."