TASMANIAN Brooke Barwick looks up to Monique Conti, and one watch of the silky midfielder's highlights show just why the Tiger is her favourite player.
Barwick had the option of essentially walking to North Melbourne through the club's alliance with the southern state, but has opted to nominate for the national portion of Monday's AFLW Draft.
Despite missing the entire 2023 season with a ruptured ACL, she's still tipped to be an early first-round selection.
"It was a very unfortunate event. It happened in February when I was playing in a fun, touch footy game with my friends, just filling in. It was actually the last game, with five minutes to go," Barwick told AFL.com.au.
"I just stepped back and I heard it pop, and I collapsed to the ground. I didn't realise it was going to be that serious, but you just have to roll with the punches. I'm feeling a lot better now, with all the grief behind. There's positives out of the outcome.
"Going into your draft year, you're playing your games, and you're so excited as to 'how I can go in this game', or if it's going to change anything, and that definitely has a toll in the back of your mind.
"You have days where you think 'oh no, I'm struggling'. But if you focus on the positives and work on yourself and be the best version of yourself, hopefully that will [show in] how you play on the field and show the good characteristics of yourself."
Barwick's attributes – a ball-winning, balanced midfielder with excellent agility and speed from the contest – could also be used to describe the AFLW best and fairest Conti.
"I love Monique Conti, I love the way she goes about the game and her smarts around the footy," she said.
"I'd also say Kaitlyn Ashmore, just how she is endlessly running, and of course Daisy Pearce, what she does on and off the field."
Barwick's cousin, Elise, made her debut for Gold Coast this year, and the extended family have grown up with the game.
Barwick herself barracks for Carlton – "even when they're going through a tough time, I'll always stick by them" – and started playing with Claremont when she was 11 in 2016.
"I started playing with my sister – women's football was forming in Tassie, and we wanted to give it a go, so we started playing with Claremont Bulldogs. I played with them till under-16s, then moved to seniors in 2021.
"I've got cousins who live right next door, and we were always out there kicking the footy, practicing our tackles.
"It would get quite aggressive at times, but I loved it and we're always in for the hard footy. Being surrounded by footy at such a young age, we've grown up and we've loved it from day one."
Barwick is a fairly straight-up-and-down player – her one superstition is wearing two pairs of socks on game day – and has enjoyed her three seasons with the Tasmanian Devils and this year's AFLW Academy.
"[The Academy] has been great. It's always such a great experience and they really implement high performance and what is expected," Barwick said.
"I think moving forward, into anyone's career, this is what they need to go forward and to know this is what's expected.
"They really help you get the best versions out of yourself and learning curves and I'm really grateful to have been in this experience and I think a lot of the girls are too."
The AFLW Draft will be broadcast live on the AFL and AFLW websites and official apps from 7pm AEDT on Monday, December 18.