WHEN Bethanie Durham first laid her hands on a Sherrin as an Auskicker, she had no idea she would one day be part of the inaugural Central West AFL women's representative team.
But now the 22-year-old can't wait to pull on that representative jersey and line up against the Sapphire Coast on Saturday.
It will add to what has already been an impressive return to the code for the Bathurst Bushranger.
"I played most of my life, I started in Auskick then went into an opens league for a year. After that I played netball for a few years, so this is my first season back in a few years," Durham said.
"I actually never really left though, I love going for kicks with the boys here at uni, I never really broke away from it.
"I'm pretty excited because it's a great opportunity to play with all the other talented players from other teams in the Central West, a great opportunity to take it a bit further."
Despite spending a number of seasons away from the sport, it was evident from when Durham first laced up her boots for the Bathurst Lady Bushrangers that the skills she learned as a junior were still there.
They were skills which had already led to representative honours, as in her early teens Durham played for the NSW ACT Youth Girls outfit which competed at the national titles.
While she laughs she had to work on her fitness "because an AFL field is such a big ground", Durham has impressed both in the ruck and across centre half back for the Lady Bushrangers.
"I play there mainly because I'm tall and I have the skills of the game from when I was younger. We have quite a few new players to our side this year, so I needed to be somewhere that I could be strong in defence," Durham said.
"It's been really great, it's been fantastic getting to know those girls and it's also been really fun and positive.
"This will be the first time I've represented in awhile, but I think I've been playing good footy and I'm quite excited to play."
Durham is set to be used in the forward line for the Central West outfit. While it will feature players from across all five women's clubs in the league, it does have a very strong Bathurst flavour.
Durham will play alongside a number of her Bushrangers club-mates as well as getting the chance to combine with talents from the Bathurst Giants.
"We've played against them [Giants] three times now and they obviously have some very key players that will be good to work with as opposed to being against them," she said.
Central West will take on Sapphire Coast in Nowra on Saturday, with the opening bounce at 1pm.