SELLING the message won't be a problem when captain Courtney Cramey summons her South Australian teammates into a tight circle before the opening bounce at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The familiar faces will include more than half of Cramey's colleagues from their local women's club, Morphettville Park, in the line-up to play NSW in an AFL women’s exhibition match as a curtain-raiser to the Adelaide-St Kilda game.
"Having been involved at state level for the last eight years, I think it's one of the fittest sides we've had. And that has been helped along the way by the AFL talent search that helped identify a few gems who have come across from other sports,'' Cramey said.
"Although they've had to work on their skills and craft, they've definitely brought plenty with them, including what it takes to be an elite athlete and their fitness. That's really exciting.''
Cramey, who demonstrated a raking kick and toughness around the ball while playing with the Western Bulldogs in 2013 and Melbourne the past two seasons, will continue to be a mainstay of the South Australian team after leading Morphettville Park to premierships the past two seasons.
An All Australian, veteran of three national championships as a player and two as a youth girls coach, the 30-year-old sets high standards in preparation for the state academy squad, even testing herself against men to raise her own skills and expectations.
"I used to train with an amateur men's side just to get a bit more intensity. But given the opportunities for the girls this year in terms of state training and training with the Adelaide Crows, there hasn't been an opportunity to do that,'' she said.
A hamstring injury delayed the tough midfielder's start to the season, but she confirmed she's not far off her best with 19 possessions in South Australia’s win against the Northern Territory in a demonstration game prior to the Crows-Giants AFL match last Saturday night.
"It was a bit of an interrupted start with my hamstring, but I'm on track again and up and firing,'' she said.
And, while the scratch match gave selectors some guide for next season – when the Territory's best players will be aligned with the South Australian-based women’s club – Cramey said Sunday's hit-out would be even more valuable as a way of identifying talent for the 2017 AFL national women's league.
"It's a real opportunity for some of the young players to make their mark on the big stage. We have a couple who played the youth girls’ championships who are also part of the senior side, so they're pretty good.
"It's a chance for all the girls to showcase their talents,'' she said.
Watch Sunday's women's exhibition matches LIVE on AFL.com.au
Go to AFL.com.au from 12.30pm (AEST) on Sunday for live video and audio streams of the Western Bulldogs v WA and SA v NSW matches