From Allgomera to Sydney.
That's the journey ahead for Macleay Valley local April Devine as she makes the next step in her Australian Rules career after selection in the under 19s Sydney Swans Academy.
On Monday the talented ruck received the news of selection after trialling in early December for the Academy along with three other girls from the North Coast.
"It felt pretty good when I got the news, originally in November I'd trialled for the North Coast Academy of Sport then received an email asking to come down to Sydney and trial for the Swans academy," April told the Argus.
"The first trial was basic skills and testing and the second was cancelled due to the Northern Beaches outbreak," April's mother Belinda added.
Considering April has only played Aussie Rules for three years, the selection is a huge achievement in such a short career.
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For her first two years she was apart of the Macleay Valley Eagles before playing with Coffs Harbour Breakers last season due to the Eagles being unable to field teams.
April's decision to play the sport was inspired by a family connection.
"I played a lot of sport when I was younger and then turned my hand to Aussie Rules," she said.
"My great-grandfather, Frederick McDonald, played and I thought I'd give it a go."
"He played for East Lake in Canberra back in the 1930's and was a massive Swans supporter so she has his old shirt and old tie," Mrs Devine commented.
April excelled in her first year after being announced as Best and Fairest of the North Coast Force Youth Girls side at the Northern NSW Representative Carnival.
Ever since pulling on the Eagles jersey April has been hooked and is looking to continue ticking off an ever-growing list of honours.
"I really enjoyed the game, teamwork and meeting new people," she said.
"Playing for the Swans academy is a big thing, I'm looking forward to meeting others again, picking up new skills and learning new things.
"I hope to play in the AFLW one day."
The academy will see the Devine family travelling to Sydney once a week with training scheduled on Saturday mornings, starting January 30 and ending mid March.
Having only been to Sydney for holidays, April said she's looking forward to going from country to city.
2021 will also see the Kempsey Adventist School student starting Year 12 and studying a Certificate 3 in Fitness and Coffs Harbour in what is sure to be a busy year.
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