Growing up watching her father Craig run around, Danielle Abbott always wanted to play AFL.
But that opportunity was non-existent - until now.
On Saturday the Tamworth Kangaroos women’s side will bound into action as the new AFL North West women’s competition continues.
Abbott was, along with Shannon Campbell, the driving force behind establishing the Kangaroos team, and both have been amazed by the response.
“We have at least one new person come a week to training,” Abbott said.
From about six partners at the start, she said they are at the point where they are going to have to share uniforms.
The blue and white runs through her blood.
“I’ve been part of the Kangaroos since I was six. My dad played, then was president and my mum was secretary and now my partner is coach,” she said.
Abbott is now herself the secretary, and said it was great to finally have the opportunity to play. They have been training twice a week for the last two months, focusing on skills initially and then integrating some fitness, under the watchful eyes of coach Ben Evenis.
“The skills have been so fun. I think it’s really engaged the girls,” she said.
Not all are like Abbott and have grown up around the game, but are having a ball.
“After the first training everyone was going this is way better than we thought it was going to be,” Campbell said.
“The way we’ve been selling it is there’s no offside and no knock-ons.”
It is a real family affair. There are sisters and even a mother and daughter with Leanne Broad playing alongside daughter Mikayla. In her mid 40s Broad is the eldest in the side. The youngest is Daisy George at 14.
They come from a range of sporting backgrounds - netball, touch football, soccer, league tag to name a few.
Campbell used to play league tag for Uralla, and became involved in AFL watching her partner play.
She described a mix of excitement and nerves.
“We don’t know what we’re in for,” she said.
That they are playing Inverell, who are more established is a bit daunting, but they “are all in the same boat”.
Their game is at 12.15pm and will be followed by the men’s clash with the Saints.