Bryttany Frost did not have an auspicious start to her introduction to AFL - a brief stint living in Queensland led to a couple of training runs with a team and the onset of disillusionment with the sport.
"I didn't like it," she said.
Back in Tamworth, it was a different story. Ahead of the 2018 season, Frost responded to a Facebook call for females to sign with the Kangaroos for AFL North West's fledgling women's competition.
It was the start of what has morphed into symbiotic relationship: the 18-year-old has got plenty from the sport, while giving plenty back.
She the embodiment of a country sports multitasker, having augmented her first year of playing with running water during games and boundary umpiring.
"The year after that, I asked my club president if I could look into umpiring," she said.
Frost is among a small group of young females in the region who have pick up a whistle. They include Glen Innes duo Charlotte McHarg and Montana Harvey.
It is expected that the Covid-delayed AFL North West season will start in July. It would be Frost's third season as a player and her second as an umpire. She became an umpire to learn more about the game.
"To start off with, I found it a bit confusing because I didn't know the signals," she said of umpiring. "But now I get better each time I umpire."
A call has gone out for more youngsters to become umpires.
AFL North West umpires coordinator Graham Brown wants young players to undergo umpire training so they can officiate when not playing.
"It just makes it a bit easier if they've got someone who knows the rules that are umpiring," he said.
"We're struggling with poor old clubs finding an umpire ... That's what I'd like to see: a few more having a go.
"I get to hold their hand while they're learning: they don't get thrown in the deep end.
"There will be a senior umpire with them all the time, to sort of provide advice or encouragement, because we end up with about 40 people telling us we're doing it wrong.
"Where there to encourage [the young umpires] ... we give them feedback on how they can improve their umpiring.
"Generally, we've had a really good run with some junior umpires over the years, but we just need some more this year."
The Leader revealed last week that AFL North West umpires had agreed to take a 17-per-cent pay cut this season to help ease the sport's financial burden as a result of Covid-19.
AFL North West president Sonia Martin has said the "nitty-gritty" of facilitating the launch of the long-delayed 2020 season would be discussed when AFL NSW/ACT met online with her and club presidents on Thursday.