MERRIVALE cricketer Lila Wilkinson's motivation to reach the highest level she can is through the roof knowing there is a pathway for her to chase.
But the 13-year-old had early doubts about chasing her dreams in the sport she grew up playing in the backyard with her older brother Flynn and dad Matt.
"A couple of years ago I thought I couldn't do this (be picked in a state squad) and when Flynn started going well I was hoping there would be a girls one and now there is," she said.
"It's good to know all of this is available for us to follow."
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The all-rounder, who enjoys watching Australian star Ellyse Perry and south-west export Georgia Wareham, is part of the Vic Country under 16 cricket team and is hoping games against NSW will be played in January when coronavirus restrictions ease.
But in the meantime the right-hander, who plays under 17 boys with the Tigers, is relishing the chance to be part of the squad as a bottom-age player.
"It's good to be bottom age, even if I don't make it it is good to train with the older girls," she said.
"I try to act like a sponge to make myself better and if I don't get it I will try again and keep working."
Some familiar faces in the squad have also helped the Emmanuel College student settle into her second Vic Country squad.
"Milly (Illingworth), Maddie (Green) and Hannah (Rooke) being there is good," she said. "I have played Milly and Maddie in the under 15 boys and played Hannah in the semi-final last season.
"It's really good to learn heaps from them as they know what they are talking about because they have been through it before."
Zoom has been a vital connection for the Vic Country squad and it's been super beneficial to Wilkinson.
"With the Tuesday nights it's good to have them," she said. "They have a slideshow and we get to ask a few questions so it keeps us going during this time.
"We had a few older Victorian girls who have been through it (the pathway) and gave us advice about what they did to be the athlete they are now.
"It gives us good motivation to see they have got up to that standard."
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