Northern Knights’ Sarah Sansonetti is taking in the experience as she continues to take steps closer to achieving her AFLW dream.
The defender has had a dream year, which has included a NAB League premiership, playing at a second national championships and making her VFLW debut.
Last week, Sansonetti was among the best players in the country at the AFLW draft combine.
She said it was crazy to think that she could soon be on an AFLW list.
“It’s a crazy feeling from where I was three years ago to where it is now,” she said at the combine.
“I dreamed about it but I never thought it was a possibility.
“These days come along, they show you are better than you thought and that people want you.”
Football has always been the dream for Sansonetti who started playing when she was eight.
She played with the boys for a number of years, before stepping into girls football.
Looking back, Sansonetti said playing with the boys was some of her best moments.
When the Northern Knights established a girls team three years ago, Sansonetti knew she wanted to be a part of that.
“From day dot, I wanted to get in there and play football at the highest level … and I got the chance.
“I’ve been at the Knights all three years and it’s pretty crazy to be there from the first year, especially now, when you look back at it.”
Sansonetti played a key role in the Knights’ premiership. She is one of four Knights girls who attended the combine.
“We’ve all trained for this, and we’re all training for the same thing,” she said.
“I’m just going to be so proud of the girls this week and when they test.
“I just want to enjoy it all, this experience doesn’t come around often.”
After finishing with the Knights, it was quickly into the Vic Metro set-up ahead of the national championships for Sansonetti.
“I was in it [Vic Metro] last year, but I was a late call-up,” she said. “Last year I was really nervous … this year I was more comfortable having already done it.
“It was surreal to bond with people that weren’t your NAB League teammates… How close we all got in such a short period of time is just crazy.”
Sansonetti said the experience had helped take her game to another level.
Sansonetti then got the opportunity to make her VFLW debut with the Darebin Falcons.
“They were so welcoming and so keen on developing us young girls, it was so crazy.
“It makes you feel pretty proud to play Darebin after all they’ve done for women’s football.
“It’s just a club you want to be at, a club you want to train at, a club you want to play at and you want to be there all the time.”
Sansonetti said the experience gave her a better idea of what to expect, should she land at an AFLW club later this month.
“I feel like I matched up well, sometimes it was tough with bigger bodies, but with a good pre-season under my belt, I think I will match up better.
“It makes you think what it will be like at the next level.
“The AFLW girls, you can see their leadership skills. They showed you what to expect, what AFLW cubs expect, so we can gain a bit of an inside knowledge.”
Sansonetti, who has also been juggling year 12 this year, said the hard part comes for both school and football is still to come.