Rising young Wagga netballer Ava Moller is keen to make the most of a big opportunity after her talent was recognised with selection in a NSW Netball Under 17s squad.
It's rare air for regional athletes to earn a place alongside Sydney-based players - many of whom are already playing premier league.
But after a long and gruelling selection process, Moller was thrilled to learn she had won through to the state's train-on squad.
"I didn't really think I'd make it past phase one so yeah, I'm pretty excited," Moller said, admiitting her heart skipped a beat.
"I got a message from Mum while I was at school. I was a bit shocked."
Moller, a goal shooter and goal attack, progressed through three phases of competition as a huge initial squad was whittled down eventually to a 12-member NSW team, and a 15-player train-on squad.
Only one other player across the two squads is based outside the metropolitan region, in Coffs Harbour.
Adding to the achievement, Moller, 15, still has a year up her sleeve, being eligible for the state squad again next year.
She's been playing netball since she started school.
Last year, at 14, she played A Reserve with Uranquinty in the Wagga Netball competition and with Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes in the Riverina League.
She's been runner-up in the A Reserve competition's best-and-fairest the last two years in Wagga Netball.
Moller is a keen fan of GWS Giants netball and was a training partner for Greater Western Sydney's Jamie-Lee Price when she was in the Riverina over Christmas, learning a little about the toughness required when training at the top.
Now the reality of trying to take her game to the next level hits home: the Mollers will hit the road this Sunday for the first of 11 once-a-week training sessions in Sydney.
She's following in the footsteps of Wagga's Sophie Fawns, who Moller has already sounded out for advice about the path ahead, and how to handle it.
"It's very exciting. It'll be something different to what we do here," the Mater Dei Catholic College student said.
"It's going to be a different level, a lot harder."
Moller is a big fan of Super Netball, and this latest affirmation of her potential as a rising star in the state's attacking ranks is fueling a dream.she wasn't quite certain enough to give voice to.
"It's definitely a dream of mine to play Super Netball. I never really said it though, because I never really thought I was that good," she said with a laugh.
"I've just got to work hard I guess."
Netball NSW said the train-on squad will focus on 'individual growth and maximising readiness to progress on the Netball NSW Pathway' and the players will have an opportunity to be part of a new emerging stars competition later this year.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.