Ararat's Ella Wood is on the verge of history for the region.
The female footballer could be the first player from Ararat to be selected in the AFLW draft.
At 11am on Tuesday, AFLW clubs will select one by one, female footballers from across the country, for the upcoming 2020 season.
"After the combine I still wasn't sure if I would get an invite to the draft," Wood said.
"I thought I did OK at the combine, but there were so many other girls who were really talented as well.
"The AFLW was late in sending out the invites to the draft and I was pretty nervous waiting."
Wood said the draft was a really unknown process. Even after being invited, she was unsure if she would get picked up by an AFLW club.
"At the end of the day, I would be happy to be picked anywhere and be able to play football," she said about her preference on where she would like to play football in the future.
"I haven't really thought too far ahead. My future is something I'll need to look into if I am not fortunate enough to be picked. There are other pathways and avenues to play football at a higher standard."
Starting her career at an Auskick clinic, Wood moved over to play under-12's at Tatyoon before continuing her football career at the Ararat Mounties, which included two premierships.
"I joined Ararat Storm in 2016 for three seasons," she said.
"I enjoyed playing football with the boys and was a bit hesitant going to join the girls - just in terms of skill level and if the game would be played differently because no one had really played football before.
"I had a few friends at Storm which helped a lot. The girls really worked hard on their skills and you could see they really developed over the time they put in to the sport."
Wood puts her interest in the sport down to watching her brothers play football. One of five children, Wood went along to a number of junior football games and training sessions with her older brothers.
"I picked up the football and had a natural kick and thought to myself I would take on the opportunity," she said.
"My brothers like to take the credit sometimes for my career - one of my brothers also has a left foot and always says I got my kick from him."
"I was fortunate to be selected for the Victorian side and it was a huge confidence boost," she said.
"It was in my first year at the Rebels. At interschools, there was a lot more structure in the games.
"I initially didn't want to try out but was glad I did and was fortunate enough to get picked."
Being selected in the Greater Western Victoria Rebels program, Woods said the development opportunities she received over a number of years had played a big part in her football journey.
"My most recent opportunity came this year when my coaches decided to put me into the backline and become a player with more depth," she said.
"There was a focus on manning up and staying close to the opposition.
"Learning a new position is difficult but it's a great experience to learn what others were going through while I was playing in other positions on the ground."
Wood said the move to the backline enabled her to control her nerves which built up under pressure.
"I feel I've really grown as a footballer this year," she said.
"The pressure has been a weakness in my game. I've always hated the pressure of the backline but I think when you have a great bunch of girls and supportive coaches it allows you to keep your head up high, no matter the score.
"Mental strength has been a really big focus this year and I think I've turned my weakness into something I can comfortably manage."
Wood's parents, Andrew and Megan will travel with the young footballer to the draft on Tuesday.
"We don't really know what to expect, only from what we've seen from past years," Mr Wood said.
"We never expected an invite to the draft - that came as a shock. We had already organised to have the day off and was just going to watch it at home.
"We're pretty excited. But as we've done for the whole of Ella's career, we just take it one step at a time."
Her parents said they didn't think twice when their young daughter said she wanted to play football.
"We knew she could handle herself," Mrs Wood said.
"Women's football has a lot of opportunities and the game has developed so much from when Ella first started.
"There are still some negative comments about women's football - there are more positives than negatives and you just have to try to push the negatives aside."
Mr Wood said he believed the timing of Wood's development and introduction into football was ideal.
"Ararat Storm had just started in the area and they were really keen to get her on board," he said.
"When Storm first started there were some 18 year-olds playing and Ella was only 12 - so she held off a few years before she went across.
"When she was the only girl playing in the boy's team and came into the girl's team, she was the only player who had played before."
Spreading their time between their five children, Mr and Mrs Wood said at times they find themselves "spread thin".
"We wouldn't have it any other way and make sure we get to everything," Mr Wood said.
"We go along to Ella's football knowing that it could stop tomorrow, so we are thankful for the opportunities she has received."
Mrs Wood said the family sits back and thinks the situation was surreal but tries to keep the excitement contained as much as possible.
"Of course we're really excited," she said.
"It doesn't matter what it is - when any child achieves something they have strived for it should be celebrated, no matter how big or small.
"We're so proud of Ella's achievements and looking forward to supporting her in the next stage of her journey."
From early morning travel to driving home long after the sun has gone down, Wood said she was grateful to her support network.
"My parents have always supported me and I'm really thankful that they have given me all the opportunities I've wanted," she said.
"My whole family is really proud of my achievements and sometimes my siblings might miss out on Mum and Dad watching them do their activities, but they understand which I'm grateful for.
"I might not be doing this forever so I'm glad they all can be a big part of my journey."
Wood will attend the AFLW draft with her parents and twin sister Amy, while family and friends watch the live stream from Ararat and the wider region.
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