South Warrnambool teammates Jane McMeel and Alyssa Johnstone are excited to test themselves at a higher level after earning spots on Geelong VFL Women's roster.
The pair were told of their selection on Thursday night, ahead of the club's March 25 season-opener against North Melbourne.
Johnstone said her initial feeling after hearing the news was one of reassurance after picking up the game later in life.
"It's really reassuring," the defender said. "To know the coaches think we're up to the standard of VFL football is pretty exciting."
The selection process started in November for McMeel, 26, and Johnstone, 25, with pre-season and twice-a-week trainings followed by two practice matches to determine the final make-up of the squad.
Johnstone, a physiotherapist, said her love of the game made the travel from Warrnambool to Geelong multiple times a week worth it.
"Down this way, we don't have that (higher level of footy)," she said. "It's worth taking it."
McMeel, who splits her time between Warrnambool and Geelong, is excited at the prospect of playing VFL football after already seeing benefits to her game over pre-season.
"I went in with the mindset if I didn't make the squad, it was great experience anyway," the reigning Western Victoria Female Football League best and fairest said. "Just being coached by people with such great expertise and (being around) players that have so much knowledge. It was great to grow in such a quick way."
Johnstone said her aim is to play as many VFLW matches as possible this year, while McMeel, who featured in the midfield at South Warrnambool but trialled at Geelong as a forward, admits the long-term goal is to get drafted to an AFL Women's team.
McMeel, a school teacher, hopes her and Johnstone's selections at Geelong can be used as inspiration for other south-west footballers to play at a higher level.
"After last season, people said to me, why don't you try and take it further," she said. "I think it's exciting, we're trying to pave the way for younger females in the western regions and just give them the confidence that they are good enough and can take it that next step with persistence and determination."
The pair have nominated South Warrnambool as their home club and will play for the Roosters when not featuring for Geelong.
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