QUEENSLAND draft hopeful Will Bella doesn't have to look far for inspiration.
The 18-year-old is the brother of Gold Coast's AFLW ruck Lauren, and says he's been looking up to his older sister for years.
"She's just a young country kid making it in the big time," Bella proudly told AFL.com.au.
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"She's put in a lot of hard work, that desire and will to perform to not only be the best she can on the field, but the best person she can off it.
"I've definitely looked up to her. I remember sitting there watching her get drafted (to Brisbane in 2018), that was one of my biggest joys.
"I really looked up to her and it's obviously a dream of mine. To be drafted with her would be awesome."
Bella took up the game almost a decade ago, turning his back on rugby league despite hailing from 13-a-side heartland in the central Queensland city of Mackay.
He moved to Gold Coast as a 15-year-old to pursue Australian Football, part of the Suns' Academy and attending Palm Beach Currumbin State High.
Bella has flourished. The 195cm, 97kg key forward has made the most of a disrupted 2021, playing consistently in the NAB League, in a handful of VFL games for Gold Coast and in the one state game Queensland played against Tasmania.
Queensland talent manager Mark Browning said Bella had "AFL attributes" with his strength, clean hands and ability to find space inside forward 50.
Bella was overlooked by the Suns in favour of Bodhi Uwland and Darwin's Sandy Brock as pre-selected rookies, but said he was happy to keep working away.
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"Both boys had a good year. It was a bit upsetting to miss out, but I've had really good feedback from the Suns, and they've helped me develop from when I was 15," he said.
"If that opportunity doesn't arise this year we'll just roll into next year and work on improving and maturing … playing on those bigger, more experienced bodies.
"The draft is not just one opportunity, there's pre-season, rookies, mid-season, so I'm pretty positive about it."
Bella is one of a number of Queenslanders hoping to hear their names called out on November 24, 25 or 26.
Midfielder Toby Triffett, key defender Jack Briskey and medium forward Max Pescud are among the others.
"No games against Victoria, WA, SA, that top-tier competition, made it difficult for recruiters to assess talent," Browning said.
"I'm pretty excited about what we've got. For some of them it might take another 12 months, but it's definitely not all doom and gloom.
"In 1999 we won Division Two and only had two players drafted. Twelve months later there was another 13 on AFL lists."