Before last year Lisa Steane had never played AFL.
But this year she capped an extraordinary season in which she captained Nelson Bay to their first women’s championship and was named the Black Diamond AFL women’s best and fairest player by being invited to test with GWS Giants on Sunday.
The Salamandar Bay 21-year-old grew up playing netball but thought she would try her hand at the new sport last year when a Black Diamond AFL women’s competition was started.
She proved a natural and her efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Steane was named player of the women’s final this year after inspiring the Marlins to a comeback victory over Newcastle City in the grand final.
Then she was one of 50 players asked to participate in the Giants Draft Combine at Homebush on Sunday.
She was just one of two asked from the Black Diamond AFL women’s competition along with Maitland’s Jess Cassidy.
They find out next month if they have earned one of 16 places on offer with the Giants when the women’s draft is conducted.
Whatever the outcome, Steane said the experience will drive her ambition to play in the elite competition.
“We won’t know if we have made it until October 17,” Steane said.
“I felt like I was definitely competitive and I was really happy with how I went but there were so many experienced girls there; some had been playing for 15 years.
“It was a bit a of an eye-opener for me but such good experience just to play at that level.”
After juggling AFL and netball last year, including playing grand finals for both sports on the same day, Steane gave up the latter to pursue her new passion.
“My partner plays AFL with the Marlins so I’ve watched him play and when they started a women’s team I thought I would go down and give it a go,” she said.
“I ended up loving it. I like the contact, the speed of the game and the fitness and it’s been good to be able to learn something new.”
Steane and Cassidy joined 50 other prospective draftees on Sunday for testing as well as matches.