Career : AFLW 2017 - AFLW 2018
Debut : Round 2 2017 vs GWS Giants
Carlton Player No. 25
Games : 10
Goals : 3
Last Game : AFLW Round 4, 2018 vs Footscray.
Height : 186 cm
Weight : TBA
DOB : February 28, 1989
Lifelong Bluebagger Kate Shierlaw will boost Carlton’s forward line and ruck stocks when she pulls on the navy blue jumper as a rookie in 2017. Standing at 186cm tall, Shierlaw will be the tallest player on Carlton’s list, providing her teammates with a target no matter where she plays on the ground. The Adelaide-born forward hails from an athletics background (basketball and javelin) and began playing football for the Wimbledon Hawks in the AFL London Women’s League. She won the Hawks' best and fairest this season, highlighting her ability to adapt to the sport. Women’s senior coach Damien Keeping says although Shierlaw has only recently taken up the game, her desire and work ethic to improve her football skills is second to none.
She was recruited by Carlton as a rookie player prior to the club's inaugural AFLW season in 2017. She made her debut in round 2, 2017, in a match against Greater Western Sydney at Ikon Park. Shierlaw did not miss a game from then on, finishing with six matches played in 2017. At the end of the 2018 AFLW season the Blues delisted Laura Attard, Madeline Keryk, Sarah Last and Kate Shierlaw from their primary playing list.
On 9 August 2019 St Kilda Football Club announced they had contracted Shierlaw for the 2020 season, and named her co-captain of the club in January 2020.
Recruited from: Wimbledon Hawks (UK)
Dream comes true for Shierlaw
Kate Shierlaw was latte-sipping in a café in Greece when the news filtered through of her drafting to Carlton. “The call came while I was having a coffee in the sun. It’s fair to say I celebrated that night,” Shierlaw said in a phone hook-up this week. Now in London town at the tail end of a working holiday, Shierlaw is one of two new rookies claimed by Carlton for its history-making AFLW team of 2017. And it hasn’t taken the 26 year-old Adelaide-born accountant long to don the famed dark Navy Blue guernsey. Shierlaw just happens to be a Carlton tragic, which is why she packed the treasured jumper before leaving for the Old Dart earlier this year. “I grew up supporting Carlton from the time I played footy in the backyard with my younger brother,” Shierlaw said. “I jumped on the bandwagon in 1995, loved (Anthony) Koutoufides and have watched the team play religiously ever since. “To be drafted is one thing, but to be drafted by Carlton is a dream come true. It’s unbelievable. I’m still pinching myself actually.” Through the course of her sporting life, Shierlaw committed her energies to basketball and athletics, with javelin her pet event. Australian Rules, she admitted, wasn’t something she ever pursued, other than when those backyard epics were played out at home. As she said: “I always had it in the back of my mind that I’d love to play Australian Rules, but never thought I’d get the opportunity, and so I stuck with basketball and aths”. But all that changed in recent months when Kate found a football club in the unlikeliest of places. She started chasing the leather for the Wimbledon Hawks in the AFL London Women's League and, as fate would have it, was front and centre in a side that went through undefeated this year. “I played centre half-forward and was pinch-hitting in the ruck,” Shierlaw said of her experiences with Wimbledon, “as I’m quite tall and pretty athletic for my size, and I can take decent marks”. “If I had to describe myself as a player I’d say I’m not frightened to attack all the contests (and) I’ve always been super competitive.” Such traits were not lost on Carlton's senior women’s coach Damien Keeping, who said that Shierlaw’s reputation as a contested beast would be invaluable to the team – on top of the fact that at 186cms she would more than likely command bragging rights as the League’s tallest competitor. So Shierlaw will shortly pack her bags for a November return . . . and as she said, “who would have thought”? The prospect of furthering her sporting career in a professional environment and learning more about the football craft is what most appeals to Shierlaw, who not so long ago was shooting hoops for the West Adelaide Bearcats. “I just want to start kicking a footy 24/7 and being around a group of girls who are on the same page,” Shierlaw said. “It’s too good an opportunity not to come back. I love Carlton too much and I’ve always wanted to live in Melbourne.” - Tony De Bolfo, Carlton Media September 23, 2016
Shierlaw pumped for homecoming
Kate Shierlaw could not have been further from the AFL scene 12 months ago. The South Australian was living in London when she was invited to join the Wimbledon Hawks and promptly fell in love with playing the game. A lifelong Carlton supporter, Shierlaw had planned on staying on the other side of the world for another year, before Blues assistant coach Graham Burgan came knocking. "Burgan was in contact with (Western Bulldogs player) Lauren Spark, who was a good friend and teammate of mine in London," Shierlaw said. "She told him about me and it went from there." The 27-year-old made her NAB AFL Women’s competition debut for the Blues against Greater Western Sydney at Ikon Park, collecting eight disposals and taking three marks. At 186cm, Shierlaw is one of the tallest players in the competition and believes her strength is in creating a contest up forward. "I’ll try and get my hands up and clunk a few. If I don’t mark it, I’ll at least bring it down for the rest of the forwards," she said. Signed as a rookie, Shierlaw had never played footy outside of the backyard before 2016, but coach Damien Keeping believes she’s come a long way since joining the club. "There’s some real upside to Kate’s game and as she learns more, she’s going to become even more of a powerful option for us to go to," Keeping said. The Blues take on the Crows in a top-of-the-ladder clash in Adelaide on Sunday and Shierlaw is looking forward to her homecoming. "Hopefully we get a win over the Crows - I wasn’t the biggest fan of them growing up," Shierlaw told carltonfc.com.au. "I cop a lot of slack from my Adelaide-supporting friends, but I’m really looking forward to getting back home in front of family and friends and having a crack at the Crows." - Nic Negrepontis, AFL Media February 17, 2017
Shierlaw finding her feet
Kate Shierlaw’s journey from London to the bright lights of the inaugural AFLW season has been well documented, but it’s her eye-catching form that’s doing the talking of late. The lifelong Bluebagger played a dominant role in the forward line on Saturday afternoon against the Bulldogs, registering a number of score assists and booting a clever goal of her own. The goal came from a Lauren Brazzale free kick which bounced awkwardly in the goal square at the Royal Parade end of the ground. Luckily, Shierlaw was there to volley the ball through the big sticks. “I had to think quickly, I tried to shepherd it through for 'Brazz' (Lauren Brazzale),” Shierlaw said of the goal. “It bounced back towards me and I just stuck my leg out. I didn't know I had that flexibility!” It was a high-scoring affair on Saturday at Ikon Park, with the Blues converting eight majors during the encounter. Shierlaw says the exciting nature of the game seemed to be replicated across the board in Round 5. “I’ve had the chance to watch every game of Round 5, and it was high quality,” Shierlaw said. “I think we are all getting used to playing together. We’ve now played five games with each other. Everyone’s learning each week and so we keep getting better and better.” Our Game Changers will now face the Dockers on Friday afternoon, and although Fremantle remains winless this season, Shierlaw maintains the Blues are in for a tough slog at Domain Stadium. “Like we saw with GWS (win over Melbourne) we can’t give Freo a chance. We’re fully aware that they’ll come out firing and they are the number one clearance team in the league,” she said. “It’ll be another challenge for us, on a big ground, and with hot weather on the day over there so we have to be at our best.” - Lucy Watkin, Carlton Media; March 8, 2017