AN invite to test among the top football prospects in the country has provided Maggie Caris with extra motivation.
Caris was one of 82 girls invited to an AFLW National combine, alongside fellow Wimmera footballer Isabella Simmons.
There is no confirmed date for the Victorian combine, as the AFL navigates the state's COVID-19 restrictions.
After months spent training in isolation with no football season this year, Caris said the combine provided a much-needed goal to work toward.
"It's definitely like a light at the end of the tunnel," she said.
"It gives you that extra motivation, knowing there's something worth training for and something that all this training is going towards.
"I know there will be fitness testing and interviews (at the combine), so it's going to be a pretty full-on day.
"I'll just keep training hard so I can be competing at the highest level when it comes around."
Caris admitted it had been difficult to manage the constantly changing circumstances this year, as she balances football, netball, and year 12.
Caris returned home to the Wimmera after her boarding school in Ballarat joined the rest of the state in remote learning this semester.
The Horsham Saints' product said she was trying to stay positive amid the chaos.
"It's been a very different year," she said.
"The last few years, netball and football training has kept me very busy. So having a bit of time to myself has been a change.
"Being back at home with my family has been pretty nice. It's a different environment.
"But I'm definitely keen to get back out on the netball court and on the footy field soon."
Helping keep Caris motivated at home has been her sister Rene, who plays with the Geelong Cats in the AFLW.
"Rene and I have been doing a fair bit of training together - we keep each other pretty motivated," Maggie said.
"Our whole family is pretty active and motivated, so it's good to have other people around you, helping push you along."
Maggie said following in Rene's footsteps and getting drafted to an AFLW club would be the "dream outcome" this year.
Caris however was not looking too far ahead - especially this year.
"My main focus at the moment is just the combine and taking it one step at a time," she said.
"Getting drafted would be the ideal situation, but obviously we just have to wait and see. There's a lot to happen before then."
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