IT WAS not the call Collingwood's Jordyn Allen was expecting.
The 18-year-old was in a car with teammate Georgia Gourlay on Monday when coach Wayne Siekman rang to say she was one of the round seven nominees for the 2019 NAB AFL Women's Rising Star award.
"We'd had our end-of-season celebration the night before, so I thought Wayne was just checking in and making sure we'd gotten home okay," Allen told womens.afl.
"He said he wasn't checking in, but that (the nomination) had been a long time coming.
"Georgia managed to guess what the phone call was about before I even hung up."
Collingwood finally got its first win in its final match for the seven-round AFLW season on Sunday against Brisbane, scraping over the line by six points.
"It was amazing to finally get one on the board. It was a credit to our hard work and perseverance throughout the season. We fought it out to the end and didn't let them run over the top," Allen said.
"We didn't kick a goal after half-time, and they just kept kicking behinds. 'Woosha' (Jess Wuestchner) and Sabrina (Frederick-Traub) missed a few and I thought, 'Here we go, we're going to have to get a goal to get a buffer'.
"We never let our losses get to us. Wayne would talk about our learnings from each game … it's a testament to the culture within the club because it's hard to go 0 and 6, but there was never any doubt," she said.
Allen played most of her under-18 football (with Rye Junior Football Club on the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne and the Dandenong Stingrays) in the middle or across half-back.
Making her AFLW debut in round one, she played three of her first four games in defence, spending time at both ends of the ground in round three against Fremantle.
By round five, she was firmly ensconced in the forward line and had kicked her first goal.
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"Wayne had always joked he'd make me a forward, but I think they needed a bit of stability for the first few rounds," Allen said.
"I'm really glad they introduced me as a defender, as it let me find my feet. Then when I found a bit of confidence, I was switched forward.
"I want to learn as much as I can from the older girls at the club and I look up to (defender) Ash Brazill and (forward) Sarah D'Arcy. They've been leaders on and off the field and have helped me out a lot."
Allen travelled from Rye to Melbourne (and back) for two or three training sessions every week for the past four months, a 190km round trip each time.
She's enjoying a gap year after finishing secondary school last year and is working in a produce store in nearby Sorrento.
"My car has had a fair bit of wear and tear … I'll definitely be looking to move to Melbourne next year," she said.