WHEN Nyakoat Dojiok first saw the game of Australian Rules, she knew it was the game for her.
Now the Greater Western Victoria Rebels centre-half-back and her teammates are just one game away from playing in the NAB League Girls grand final.
Born in Ethiopia to a South Sudanese family, Dojiok was just seven years old when her family arrived in a Australia as refugees. Firstly, settling in South Australia, before later moving to Ballarat.
"I started football in 2011 when I was in grade two," she said.
"Our school wanted us to be involved in Australian culture. I was always good at running and one of the teachers suggested asked me whether I would like to try this game. Soon after we moved to Victoria and I didn't really start playing straight away when I moved to Victoria, but in 2016, I participated in Kick-Start and the All-Nations Carnival, that's where I kind of got back into football.
"I love the aspect of you owning the game.
"You can go where you want, you can run, you can handball, you can kick, footy you can use all aspects of your body."
So keen on the game, Dojiok - who was always tall - even once secretly changed her birth date, adding an extra two years just so she could compete in a competition.
"I really wanted to play, It was something like I was 13, but you had to be 15, so yeah," she laughed.
But as she completes year 12 at Ballarat Grammar, she assures us she is now 17.
Now one of the Rebels leaders, 'Nike' has been involved in academy squads and was this season one of six Rebels to be picked for the Victorian Country squad, a team that is just one win away from becoming national champions.
She has also spoken with four AFLW clubs including Collingwood, who she supports, in a hope to be drafted later this year. Still with some family in Adelaide she says they constantly want to know about the game.
"They are always asking me questions about football and obviously want to come and watch me play over here," she said.
"I'd love to be able to have some camps in South Australia."
Away from football Dojiok also has a passion for acting.
The Rebels qualified for this weekend's preliminary final with a thrilling one-point win over the Tassie Devils.
"Those last minutes were probably one of the best things I've ever been a part of," she said.
"To be part of that last quarter was something I hadn't experienced before, I'd not played finals footy with the Rebels before, it was amazing."
A win over Geelong on Saturday will see the Rebels into the grand final.
"It's going to mean everything to us and it all comes back to all the work we put in during the pre-season," she said.
"Knowing that we didn't have a year of footy last year, for what we've been able to do will really help set the Rebels up going forward.