Alyce Parker is fast becoming one of AFLW's brightest young stars.
The Holbrook export's journey to the top of her chosen sport has taken a lot of hard work, but she couldn't be happier.
Parker burst onto the AFLW scene with a best on ground performance for GWS Giants against Brisbane on debut - earning herself a Rising Star nomination.
After a whirlwind 12 months, which saw her complete her final HSC exams in the midst of being drafted to the Giants, Parker has made the transition from country kid to elite sportswoman.
Parker was playing as many as seven sports at once in her early teens, but fell in love with football after being picked for the school side at Billabong High.
She made the call early last year to drop all her other options and chase her football dream.
"I couldn’t have loved my footy any more if I tried last year," Parker said.
"Obviously that had a lot to do with the pathways that opened up and the people involved in the NSW-ACT program.
"That’s the reason I’ve ended up here and I’ll be very thankful for that for the rest of my life.
"I couldn’t be enjoying my footy any more and the decision I made halfway through last year to stop netball and the rest of my sports was the best decision I’ve probably ever made in my sporting career."
Parker has impressed in her first two matches for the Giants and hopes its the start of a long and successful AFLW career.
"My focus is getting as much game time as I can, looking after the body and improving as much as I can," she said.
"I’ve got a long way to go and the pathways that could possibly open up as the AFLW develops is exciting.
"Being the youngest one at the club is a learning experience as much as it is an opportunity.
"I’ve learnt an incredible amount and I have a long way to go, especially transitioning out of the youth girls environment to open women's.
"It’s a very different game."
Parker is among the nine nominees for this year's Norske Skog Young Achiever of the Year.
It's the second time in three years Parker has been nominated for the award.
"To be recognised for that again is very special to me and I guess it’s a reward for the last 12 months I’ve had and the hard work I’ve put in," she added.
"I definitely know the field I’ve been nominated with are all equally deserving.
"I’ve been nominated before and kind of know how it all works, but it doesn’t change how special it is."
The Young Achiever winner will be announced at Albury's Commercial Club on Friday, March 15.
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