GREATER Western Sydney Academy defender Sam Frost has experienced the highs and lows like most youngsters around Australia in the talent pathway but a period of four months in the second half of the season had all the elements of an extraordinary rollercoaster ride which chasing your AFL dreams can sometimes bring.

After joining the Giants' senior group for their VFL schedule, Frost also took part in their AFL campaign which saw them out of NSW/ACT for 12 weeks with stints in Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland and a final prolonged period in Western Australia as Giants played finals.

Throughout that time Frost trained with the senior group in what would have been a remarkable development experience. 

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After the Giants' season ended, Frost, who is from Queanbeyan in the Australian Capital Territory, moved from Perth with three Giants Academy teammates to Adelaide for another four weeks in the hope of being available for a programmed AFL Challenge match fixture for the Allies in October.

Any move back home to NSW/ACT would have ruled them out of contention for selection given the border restrictions in place at the time.

This rescheduled match against South Australia, to be played at the Adelaide Oval as part of SANFL Grand Final day in October, loomed as the one final chance for Frost and his Giants Academy teammates Josh Green, Fraser Kelly and Harry Grintell to press their claims for AFL list spots come the Draft later in the year.

Sam Frost in action at the NSW Draft Combine in 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

It wasn't until the week of the match that the four players were officially selected in the Allies team of 24 players as the only players from NSW/ACT with their Allies teammates coming from the Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania.

Then, as often has been the case for players in the AFL pathway in the past two seasons, all didn't quite go to plan for the Allies. Just three days before the match a COVID outbreak in Brisbane resulted in the reintroduction of border restrictions into South Australia accounting for anyone who had been in Brisbane in the previous 14 days.

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Queensland had hosted Tasmania in a NAB AFL Under-19s Challenge match the previous weekend, effectively ruling out 16 of the Allies squad with only four Northern Territory players and the four Giants available to play. Our immediate thoughts were with the Queensland and Tasmanian players selected but again denied the chance to perform on the national stage.

Determined to have the remaining Allies play what would be their only match in two years all possibilities were considered. Quickly reinforcements were called in from the Northern Territory with hosts South Australia very sportingly also supplementing the visitors with a number of their state under-17s squad making the game a reality.

Sam Frost and his Giants Academy teammates Harry Grintell, Fraser Kelly and Josh Green. Picture: GWS Giants Academy

With the mindset of taking your opportunities in the modern world whenever they present, the new Allies squad came together for a dinner and meeting on match eve and to hear from their hastily appointed coach Julian Farkas (South Australia's Under-17s coach) who was an ideal stand-in for Allies coach Andrew Raines. Raines, from the Gold Coast Suns Academy, was also obviously unable to travel due to the border restrictions.

The realisation that night that the match would go ahead was not the only highlight for the resilient Frost.

The honour of being named captain of the Allies was deservedly bestowed upon him together with being presented the Hunter Harrison Medal as the best player in the lead-up matches played by the Allies constituents in the NAB League earlier in the season, named best on ground in three of the Giants' four matches.