CALLED into a coach's meeting this week with some other Giants youngsters, Ally Morphett prepared herself for the worst.
But the East Wagga-Kooringal product needn't have worried. Instead, she was told she will make her AFLW debut in Greater Western Sydney's season opener against Gold Coast at Mackay on Sunday night.
The 18-year-old ruck was selected with pick 37 by the Giants in July's AFLW draft after impressing for Belconnen in AFL Canberra last year.
She has progressed through the Giants Academy and will start from the bench as a ruck support for Erin McKinnon against the Suns.
Established Giants ruck Jessica Allan has been placed on their inactive list for the season due to work commitments, which presents a golden opportunity for Morphett.
"Us younger girls all got called into a meeting. At that moment I was kind of expecting to be told I wasn't going to be picked, so I wouldn't be as disappointed when I heard the news," Morphett said.
"I was a bit scared going into the meeting, not knowing what was going to happen.
"At the moment Erin McKinnon is the only other ruck and they needed a back-up one. I've been fortunate to be in this position.
"I'll start off on the bench, which is what I'd probably prefer to do, to let the nerves settle a bit.
"Erin has been unbelievable at training, she's been a massive part of this team and everyone can see that. She's taught me so much over pre season over a short period of time. It will be easier to debut with her by my side."
orphett's development through the football system has been a rapid one, and that has only accelerate since beginning training with the Giants' AFLW squad.
"I've just been soaking up as much info as I can. Just trying to learn a lot about what role I should play in the team and being selfless and being beneficial to the team," she said.
"I've just been putting my head down and working hard. I'll be told what my (specific) role is later in the week, but it will likely just be a rotation from the bench and the ruck."
With the match starting at 5.10pm local time, Morphett is bracing for muggy conditions for her debut in central Queensland.
"We're pretty confident (we'll handle it), it's been pretty hot in Sydney. Not as humid as Mackay, but we should be all set and ready to go," she said.
Morphett said the squad is wary of taking precautions to try and stave off the threat of COVID during the season.
"Everyone's doing such a great job with it at the moment. It's pretty hard with the increasing number of cases, but we try and avoid going out into public places as much as we can, and making sure we're doing the right things," she said.
The Giants-Suns match gets underway at 6.10pm Sunday AEDT.
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