Queanbeyan Tigers prodigy Cynthia Hamilton hopes her All-Australian under-19s selection will help launch her AFLW career, adamant she's ready to step up to the next level.
The 17-year-old was picked in the honorary team last week following her dominant performances against players two years older than her at the national championships in May.
But Hamilton will have to patiently watch this weekend's AFLW draft from the sideline, given she was still too young to nominate this year.
Age will no longer be a barrier in 12 months time.
Hamilton was involved in the first GWS Giants academy pathways this year, which gave her a taste of professional football, and she now hopes to follow in her sister Lexi's footsteps into the national competition.
"It's a very proud moment for myself that I was able to make this achievement, Lexi was in the team and was drafted to the Gold Coast Suns in 2020, so it's pretty nerve racking but it shows you can do it," the All-Australian said.
"Watching Lexi and the way that she went through the process showed me that you have to give 100 per cent and you have to want it."
Hamilton averaged 21.5 disposals and 10 tackles, and booted two goals at the National Championships which led to her being named player of the tournament for the NSW/ACT Allies.
She said the GWS academy had helped improve her attitude towards the game.
"It's changed footy, not just my technique, but also my mental state about footy in a really positive way, it was just such a good program to be a part of, and I would really recommend it to young girls coming through the program to join," Hamilton said.
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Australian rules wasn't always the rising star's first love.
Starting basketball alongside her five siblings at a young age, Hamilton built fundamental hand-eye coordination skills, which transferred straight onto the football field after basketball became a financial strain.
"When I first started playing footy I immediately loved it and I knew that's where I wanted to be and that's what I wanted to do as a career," Hamilton said.
With 12 months to prepare for the draft, Hamilton will continue to play alongside her sisters Lexi and Jayde at the Queanbeyan Tigers who are currently sharing the top spot with the Belconnen Magpies and Ainslie Tricolours in the Canberra competition.
"The local comp pushes you to excel but it's hard, and playing alongside my sisters who are very competitive too, we're always competing with each other to be the best," she said.
Hamilton has kicked five goals in 10 games this season, and will search for their eighth win next Saturday in round 11 when they face fifth-placed Tuggeranong.