AFLW: Sidelines to centre bounce at Giants in 2020 for Nelson Bay's Lisa Steane

TRAINING HARD: Nelson Bay's Lisa Steane at GWS Giants pre-season training in Sydney. She's aiming to make her AFLW debut in 2020. Picture: Getty Images
TRAINING HARD: Nelson Bay's Lisa Steane at GWS Giants pre-season training in Sydney. She's aiming to make her AFLW debut in 2020. Picture: Getty Images

Lisa Steane remembers being in the crowd cheering on Pippa Smyth when her former Nelson Bay teammate made an AFLW debut in 2018.

The recently signed Giants rookie, who turns 25 in January, hopes to be the one in the middle next season and beyond as she looks to carve out her own career on the Aussie rules field.

"I really hope it's not just this season," Steane said. "Who knows, but I'm going to put in the work and do everything I can to play for as long as possible.

"Hopefully that's enough because I love the club and I love the competitiveness. It's definitely something I want to keep doing in the future."

With opening round against new outfit the Gold Coast Suns less than two months away, Steane has experienced a different kind of Christmas in 2019.

The Giants are officially on a fortnight-long break for the holiday period, but she has been continuing with a club-issued training program.

While back in the Port Stephens area visiting family and friends over the festive season, Steane ran a session on her "old stomping ground" at Dick Burwell Oval on Boxing Day.

"It was nice being back there," she said.

FULL FLIGHT: Nelson Bay's Lisa Steane takes a mark at Giants pre-season training in Sydney. She's aiming to make her AFLW debut in 2020. Picture: Getty Images

FULL FLIGHT: Nelson Bay's Lisa Steane takes a mark at Giants pre-season training in Sydney. She's aiming to make her AFLW debut in 2020. Picture: Getty Images

Steane, who only took up the sport around 2015 and the following year helped Nelson Bay claim the Black Diamond Cup women's premiership, was issued with her Giants playing number earlier this month having been drafted in October.

She'll wear 20, one under her original Marlins guernsey and two below her title-winning uniform this campaign with Macquarie University in the Sydney Women's Premier Division.

"I think it has started to sink in," she said. "Because I've been training with them [Giants] for a while anyway [as a development player] it feels like I haven't stopped. But I think it will really kick in once selections start and you're either playing or not playing."

In terms of her specific role on the park, Steane has mainly been an on-baller at club level but has been practicing in the midfield line so far.

"I've mainly been an on-baller at club level and I love that role, but it could be much different at elite level," she said.

"At training we break into fullback, midfield and forward lines and I've been with the midfielders.

"Thing is I'm happy to play wherever. I'm willing to give it a go, whatever the team needs."

Steane, now based in the Sydney Harbour suburb of Chiswick and a primary school teacher at Canley Heights, has landed at the Giants alongside Newcastle City's Sarah Halvorsen.

She hopes for a similar reception to Smyth if the AFL Hunter Central Coast pair get a run in 2020.

"I think she [Smyth] had the biggest cheer squad in the stands," Steane said.

The Giants kick-off the expanded 14-team competition on February 8 when they host the Suns at Blacktown.

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