Pippa Smyth plans to make the most of whatever opportunity she gets on Sunday after being named in the final GWS Giants squad for their round-four clash with Adelaide at Blacktown International Sportspark.
The Nelson Bay 22-year-old is poised to become the first Black Diamond AFL women’s player to make her mark in the national competition.
She was drafted to the Giants last year after blitzing fitness testing at the women’s combine.
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The personal trainer has endured, and enjoyed, a rigorous pre-season and has been on the edge of her seat watching her teammates do battle through the first three rounds of the AFLW.
“It was hard watching the girls play because I really wanted to be able to play along with them and it’s disappointing because you want to be out there with them as well,” Smyth said.
“But I’ve still been training my hardest and I’ve been doing as much as I can and I’m finally getting my chance this week and I will be happy to do well and see how I go at that level.”
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When Giants director of coaching and AFLW coach Alan McConnell told Smyth she had been selected for the Adelaide clash it stirred a mixture of emotions.
In a lot of ways, she is still pinching herself.
“If someone had told me this a year ago, I don’t know if I would have believed it,” Smyth said.
“I wasn’t sure when I was going to get my chance. When Al told me, it was super exciting. I called my mum and dad and my boyfriend. It was really nice news and it’s a good feeling.
“I just want to go out there and put all of the practise and all of the hard work I’ve been doing into the game.”
An added bonus will be going up against family friend Rhiannon Metcalfe, who also hails from Nelson Bay and is in her second season with the Crows.
“I'm not too sure how much game time I'm going to get but any opportunity is a good opportunity,” Smyth said.
“If I play ruck the other ruck is Rhiannon Metcalfe. She didn’t play Black Diamond league, she came through the Navy.
“I know her pretty well … she was in the same year as my sister at school.
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“When she was back home in the Bay last year she came down to training and watched the girls, gave some advice, talked about the women’s league and because she’s a ruck, the same position as me, she gave me some tips and some pointers.
“It’s funny to think I’ll be playing against her now.”
The game is at 4.35pm on Sunday.