INJURIES have opened the door for Bendigo Thunder midfielder Elise Strachan to be elevated to Melbourne's AFL Women's league senior list.
The multi-talented 25-year-old was advised of her promotion by the Demons this week.
Strachan has spent the past few weeks with the Demons as part of their train-on squad and has been declared ready to go if needed by the club's women's operations manager Debbie Lee.
“The positive of it is that Elise has been training with us for a number weeks now and she really fits what we’ve looked at, when we first starting recruiting for players,” she said.
“We wanted good character, competitiveness, resilience and good foot skills and she ticks all of those boxes.
“Although it’s unfortunate that we haven’t got our full squad, due to injuries, the positive is that we’ve been able to see Elise fit into our dynamics and see how that works.
“Because she’s a great character, we felt it appropriate to be elevated, so it’s a great opportunity for her.”
Lee said Strachan, who can also play forward, offered some versatility for the Demons, who are in third place on the ladder, despite season-ending injuries to Meg Downie (hamstring) and Stephanie De Bortoli (Achilles).
The Demons have also lost defender Brooke Patterson to a hamstring injury for at least one game and could be without forward Shelley Scott, who is battling shoulder soreness.
Strachan made a name for herself on the basketball court, playing seven season for the Bendigo Lady Braves's SEABL team, before switching full-time to the Thunder last season.
She is the sixth Bendigo Thunder player from last season’s team to join the AFLW after teammates Bella Ayre and Sarah Last (both Carlton), and Emma Grant (Collingwood) were drafted, and Jess Kennedy and Hayley Trevean joined the Blues as free agents.
Melbourne (3-1) enters its round five clash against Greater Western Sydney (0-3-1) in third pace on the league ladder, one win behind top-pair Adelaide Crows (4-0) and Brisbane Lions (4-0).
The top two teams at the end of the seven-round home and away season will contest the inaugural grand final on March 25.