What started as a dream little more than six years ago is set to become reality for former Port Macquarie Magpies star Cambridge McCormick.
As pick 84 for the Greater Western Sydney Giants, the 23-year-old has been selected for the Giants ahead of the 2023 AFLW season.
"It's really the beginning of another step in my journey, but it is really exciting," she said.
McCormick is looking forward to the step up in the ranks and the added opportunity of continuing to improve her game while at the Giants.
Dreams do come true.
"It's just absolutely fantastic now to be able to train and play with some of the best players from around the country," she said.
"Being given the opportunity to use the facilities that the men's team have access to as as the coaching staff is absolutely fantastic.
"It's just going to take my game to another level."
It's been a self-proclaimed whirlwind for the Sunshine Coast-born McCormick who has spent the past two seasons playing in the AFL Canberra Women's competition with the Eastlake Demons.
Before that she starred for the Magpies when they appeared in two-straight grand finals (in 2018 and 2019) - one of which saw her awarded as player of the match despite being in a losing team.
She joined the Magpies as a youngster with stars in her eyes and despite there being no women's competition at the time, she trained with the men's team.
"I just came down to training one day and asked the guys if I could join in," she said.
"I spent the first year playing occasionally up in Queensland, but training with the Port Macquarie men's team and it was absolutely fantastic."
As a junior player, McCormick looked up to the men's teams and dared to dream about one day playing in some of the showcase AFL stadiums around the country such as the Sydney Cricket Ground and Melbourne Cricket Ground.
That will now be a reality.
"Being able to play at some of the bigger stadiums in the country in front of massive crowds and finally be able to get the opportunity after seeing how well the competition is expanding is exciting," she said.
McCormick, however, will never forget about her Magpie roots.
"I owe the Magpies a lot and appreciate their support along the way," she said.
"It definitely was such a good opportunity to train with the men's team where I learned a lot of skills and focused on my game a lot there.
"They've been absolutely fantastic and I'm thankful to have been part of the Magpies family."
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