Lulu Pullar and Eliza Shannon chat with Darren Crocker after a win during round three, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

LULU Pullar's cut down on her work hours this week.

After all, the North Melbourne recruit will be coming face-to-face with former Brisbane teammates Sophie Conway, Orla O'Dwyer and Jade Ellenger on the wing in Sunday's sell-out NAB AFLW Grand Final.

Instead of her normal full-time work at Sunshine Hospital in Melbourne's west, Pullar has dropped back to "only working two 10-hour shifts" this week, and will then work through Christmas.

Her teammates have lauded the impact she has had on the morale of the group in a short space of time, coaxing some more reserved teammates out of their shells and encouraging upbeat energy in the team.

Lulu Pullar celebrates a win with fans in round one, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"I'm not sure if I'm the spark. Naturally, I'm a very positive, glass half-full person. I get a lot of perspective going to work every day, and I'm very grateful for that," Pullar told

"I'm so grateful for my job, and I meet so many people that are probably in positions that I'll never have to be in my life, and I think when you come to training at 5pm on a Wednesday, it's just a joy.

"It's truly such a privilege to be a professional athlete, to be able to experience the emotions we did on Sunday, and to have the opportunity to play in a Grand Final. To be part of something that truly matters to people, I just feel so grateful for that.

"I think ultimately, it's perspective that allows me to be positive, and that's the case for everyone in this team. I think all these girls work, all these girls have genuine respect and admiration for one another. It's not just me driving this, it's certainly the full squad."

Lulu Pullar tackles Brooke Vickers during round two, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Just 25 years old, Pullar has already had another life as an elite athlete, progressing through the Brisbane Roar talent pathways in soccer.

"I grew up playing soccer, and played soccer at a high level for a number of years, going through school and my adolescence.

"I grew up in Brisbane, and was part of the Brisbane Roar from a junior age, all the way through to about 19. I went overseas and played in the college system (University of Southern California) for a little bit too.

"I really enjoyed my time as a soccer player, but I was also studying medicine at the time, and it came to a crossroad for me, and I put my soccer career behind. I ended up picking up a footy with a friend, and it's led me down here."

After a few years both studying at and playing with Bond University in the QAFLW, Pullar spent both 2022 seasons with the Brisbane Lions, but was not selected for the Lions' season seven Grand Final.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Lucinda Pullar and Taylor Smith of the Lions are happy with the win during the 2022 AFLW Round 08 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Brisbane Lions at Mineral Resources Park on February 27, 2022 In Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)

She played the first five games of that season, making way for the returning Kate Lutkins, and was then an emergency for the last seven straight matches.

"I figured the balance of working as a doctor while also trying to play AFLW was probably best achieved in Melbourne," Pullar said.

"My workplace (Western Health) offered me that flexibility to pursue both careers. I thought coming down to Melbourne – and particularly as the Kangaroos showed some interest, I looked at their program and their playing list, and obviously 'Crock' (Darren Crocker) their coach, and it was a bit of a no-brainer for me.

"Last year was obviously awesome to be part of it, to experience that Grand Final week, the prelim win, just to see the logistics, the pressure and the excitement of being in a Grand Final.

"Obviously, everyone wants to play in a Grand Final, I'm not going to lie, you're gutted not to be selected in that side. But to hopefully be selected in that side coming on Sunday, and to have the opportunity to potentially play in a Grand Final, it fills me with a lot of joy and excitement.

"I'm quite proud of myself for coming down here and making the most of my opportunity."