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Mid West trailblazer continues roaring success as Samara Pluschke helps Sharks to third flag

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Jayme Harken of the Tigers gets tackled to the ground by Samara Pluschke of the Sharks during the WAFLW Grand Final match between Claremont and East Fremantle at Mineral Resources Park on July 15.
Camera IconJayme Harken of the Tigers gets tackled to the ground by Samara Pluschke of the Sharks during the WAFLW Grand Final match between Claremont and East Fremantle at Mineral Resources Park on July 15. Credit: James Worsfold/Getty Images

One of the Mid West’s first women’s stars added a second premiership to her cap as the helped the East Fremantle Sharks overcome Claremont in last weekend’s WAFLW grand final.

Samara Pluschke has always been at the forefront of the women’s game after quitting her job and moving to Perth at the start of 2017 to join East Fremantle in the hopes of finding a path to the AFLW.

She played 30 games with the Sharks before the WAFLW was established, competing in what was then the WA Women’s Football League where she got her first success helping the Sharks win the final WAWFL premiership in 2018.

But fittingly just as Northampton entered what was then the Meedac’s Women’s League in 2019 so did the WAFLW begin with Pluschke at centre stage.

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Pluschke played every game for the Sharks that season as they backed up by winning the last WAWFL flag by winning the first WAFLW flag.

The COVID years saw playing time limited and in 2022 Pluschke started in the reserves.

But as the Sharks looked to go deep into finals she was called on once again playing the final three rounds and picked up 14 disposals and a goal in the preliminary final to help the Sharks get into their second grand final.

On that day they went down by eight points, but in season 2023 with Pluschke playing every game this year they got their revenge with a 12-point win.

Pluschke had six disposals and three tackles and averaged 7.5 disposals and 3.3 tackles a game while she also had two goals.

Pluschke has been a part of every Sharks grand final and now with two WAFLW medals to her name is firmly in the conversation as one of the greatest women’s players the Mid West has produced, made all the more impressive by the fact she was doing it before anyone started really looking.

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