BACKYARD kick-to-kick sessions have opened up a world of opportunities for an emerging south-west footballer.
Scarlett O'Donnell's dominant debut season with Western Victoria Female Football League side South Warrnambool was enough to pique attention from state league selectors.
The skilful teenager is training with Coates Talent League side GWV Rebels ahead of the 2024 campaign and is encouraged about the possibility of joining the AFLW ranks through next year's draft.
The Emmanuel College student, who will turn 18 in November next year while in year 11, said it was humbling to have sporting options at her disposal.
"I am trying not to take it for granted and just be grateful for every opportunity I am given," she said.
"I have had a few chats with Mum (Natasha) and Dad (Andrew) but we'll stick to the now at the moment and worry about that if it comes.
"I guess I am looking to maybe do school in the city depending on where footy or netball goes."
O'Donnell is settling into Rebels' pre-season training.
The midfielder finished a two-kilometre time trial in 10 minutes and 10 seconds on Monday, November 28.
She noticed a spike in intensity from club level.
"I am taking each training session and game as it is at the moment. It is pretty new to me," O'Donnell said.
"Being ask to come and train with the Rebels is quite a big step and to see where it takes me in the future with my other sport as well (is exciting). I am trying to manage it all."
One of O'Donnell's strengths is her kicking accuracy, penetration and technique.
She credits brother Curran, who plays Hampden league senior football for Koroit, for helping her master the skill.
"We have always played (in the backyard) with everything - footy, netball, basketball," she said.
"He has always dragged me out to play and I guess that's where the skills (come from), you sort of copy him and copy dad.
"It is where a lot of my competitiveness comes from.
"I am a right-footer. I am working on my left foot but it's not as strong. I'd like it to be but it's not."
The West Coast supporter - she was a big fan of "Nic Naitanui's hair when I was little" - is determined to improve all facets of her game.
Coaches, including senior coach Sally Riley, are helping her cause.
"I am still learning a lot and now having heaps of different coaches to lead me in all areas of the game is good," O'Donnell said.
"For me, ground balls and handballs I sort of want to improve on a bit."