She is a trailblazer of the women's game in the Riverina and on Friday night, Julie McLean will create another first in the opening round of the AFL Southern NSW women's competition.
After three years out of the game, McLean will make a comeback when she runs out as part of the first ever Narrandera senior women's team.
Narrandera, North Wagga and East Wagga-Kooringal will field teams for the first time in the third edition of the women's competition.
McLean is a champion of the game in the Riverina. She was a co-founder of the Lions, played over 250 games for the club and was named captain of AFL Canberra's Womens Team of the Decade.
A knee reconstruction three years ago brought an end to her career but the opportunity to pull on a Narrandera jumper was enough to convince McLean to play again.
"I did all my schooling at Narrandera and grew up at a property at Boree Creek," McLean explained.
"To see a women's club in your home town is always exciting.
"It feels like a homecoming and I'm really excited to be able to get over there and what I can't do on the field anymore, hopefully I can show them with a bit of leadership and experience and see where we go."
The opportunity to play alongside her niece, Charlotte Paterson, was another strong drawcard.
"My family is all back there and the opportunity to have a run around with my niece who's playing was a big thing," she said.
"To start with it was a bit of a joke, I'll come over and I'll play but I got a bit keen and as it got closer I thought I'll regret it if I don't have a run around with them. I'd go and watch them play so I'd rather be out there.
"So I've been for a couple of training runs now and I'm really enjoying it."
So far the knee has held up.
"I've done a lot of cycling so I've got a lot of strength back in my knee," she said.
"We've got a good physio on board our team, which always makes you feel a bit better about things.
"It will be interesting but I'm excited to have a run around and see how it goes and hopefully get through the five games."
Having invested so much in Riverina Lions since their inception in 2003, and the women's game in general, McLean is delighted to see the expansion across the region.
"I'm rapt to see the growth of the sport in the area, I guess," she said.
"Once before we had girls travelling from Griffith over to play with us at the Riverina Lions so now there is girls all around the region that can play in their home town and obviously there is going to be more people do it because there's not the travel involved."
Narrandera will open their season against North Wagga at Apex Park on Friday night.
McLean is not sure exactly what to expect from the season opener.
"I've been over and trained with them three times now. We've only been together a short time, about a month, obviously we've got a lot to learn but in that short time they've really picked up a lot," she said.
"We've got some really good young juniors in the club and we go right up through the ranks to people that are in their late 40s and are playing their first game of footy and couldn't be more excited.
"It's really got my love of the game back and it's exciting to be helping develop a new team. They might be a new team but the bulk thing is I'm having fun and enjoying it.
"Participation is the name of the game and that's what we're trying to instil in them."