IT'S BEEN a case of two NAB AFLW under-18 championships, two All Australian nods for Queensland's Lily Postlethwaite.
The silky midfielder has starred in the underage ranks and is now impressing at senior level, picking up the QAFLW Rising Star award this year while playing for Maroochydore.
The Queensland skipper stands at just 162cm tall but is poised to be a top selection at Tuesday's NAB AFLW Draft.
>>The 2019 NAB AFL Women's Draft will be live streamed on womens.afl, the AFLW App and the AFLW Facebook account from 10.40am AEDT on October 22.
"I prefer the QAFLW to be honest. Sometimes when you come back to under-18 level, everyone's really fast, so I've enjoyed playing against the women," Postlethwaite said.
"I started off playing Oztag (a version of touch rugby), I didn't play footy until I was 12.
"I was training with my dad one day, who's in a masters' team, and we saw some girls running around the oval and he said, 'Why don't you give it a go?'. I didn't really look back, because it was heaps of fun.
"I didn't really have the tackling aspect before and didn't realise how much I [would] enjoy it. There's so much space to run."
Postlethwaite worked her way through the ranks after starting in the juniors at Moreton Bay Football Club, coincidentally where Brisbane has hosted the majority of its AFLW games, before progressing to senior footy with the club, then onto Maroochydore.
She was actually first selected to play for Queensland at the age of 16, but broke her ankle on the eve of the championships, pushing her national carnival debut to 2018.
"I just had to watch all the girls and it was pretty hard on the sidelines, but I learnt a lot from it," she said.
"I went up for a mark, came down funny and it just broke. The doctor said it was good it was a clean break, as it healed well."
A true two-way runner, Postlethwaite is a very consistent player who has strong endurance and a precise kick.
"I really like playing through the midfield, there's lots of running, setting up the play for the forwards, helping out the backs, just in and amongst it all," Postlethwaite said.
"As soon as the ball goes up, you're in that bounce, you're involved early, you're not waiting for the ball, you go get it yourself."
Her wish to be drafted has intensified over the past few years, currently working during the day at Red Rooster to allow for footy training at night (she graduated from school last year).
"I was just playing for fun, then AFLW started and I was like, oh wow, this is something quite serious, so then I started watching it more and more, both the boys and the girls. It was a lucky time for me to come in, I guess," she said.
"You learn so much just watching off the TV. I like Emily Bates from the Lions, her style of play and how she carries herself both on and off the field, and then from the boys, probably Jason Johannisen from the Bulldogs, his run is really good. He's really fast."
Postlethwaite is also a member of the NAB AFLW Academy, where she's enjoyed the focus on developing professionalism.
"They teach you what it's like at AFLW level, so if you do get drafted it'd be easier to transfer into, things like nutrition and all the gym stuff you have to do to get your body right.
"You have to do the best you can."