GIANTS draftee Kaitlyn Srhoj will be moving across the country to take the next step in her football journey, but she can't wait to start working alongside Alyce Parker.
The West Australian was selected with pick No.3 in the AFLW Draft, and played primarily as a winger for Peel Thunder, but is keen to strut her stuff as an inside midfielder.
"Going to an experienced club with the likes of Alyce Parker and (Alicia) Eva, I think for me it's to learn from them, you don't get that opportunity often," Srhoj told AFL.com.au.
"Being injected into the midfield as an 18-year-old, that's rare. I'm really looking forward to starting out my career in a place and position I'm really comfortable. I've never played half-back or forward, so I'm looking forward to expose myself there as well.
"I really like Rebecca Beeson, she's really cool. Then the likes of Zarlie (Goldsworthy) – being a younger player, it proves that age doesn't really affect anything. I'm really looking forward to getting there.
"The environment they produce is something I want to be a part of. I think I'm going to have no trouble being part of a family. Especially moving over, it's going to be difficult, but I think they're going to welcome me with open arms."
Draftee Kaitlyn Srhoj receives a special call from GIANTS midfielder Rebecca Beeson pic.twitter.com/IG4zIzZ7rD— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) December 19, 2023
Srhoj (a surname of Croatian origin dating generations back, pronounced Sir-hoy) played in the NBL1 for Mandurah Magic, badly breaking her ankle in 2021.
Having picked up footy with friends the year prior, the serious injury proved a turning point in her sporting future.
"My injury ruled me out of sport for a year, so I had to decide between basketball and football, as well as juggling year 11," she said.
"For me, it was quite hard, but it was (also) an easy decision in a way. Footy is how I like to play my sport, I'm a team player and I really value team success.
"In the end, letting go of something I've grown up with is hard. But I'm grateful to be at the GIANTS now."
Srhoj is a bubbly and upbeat person – in her on-air interview in the minutes after she was drafted, she said she felt like "puking" – but there's also a more studious side to the 18-year-old, who has her eye on potentially studying medicine.
"My family brought me up in an environment where they want me to be the best I can in every avenue. School is definitely important for me, and I love learning," she said.
"Medicine is big, and I might find it hard, balancing it with football. I might look to get into physio first and if I enjoy that, I'll continue that pathway. If it's not for me, I can always transition over to medicine.
"I'm a Perth girl, so it's sunshine all the time. I love going to the beach, I've just picked up surfing as a hobby, because I figured I didn't have any hobbies, I just study and play footy.
"I also like to read as well, I'm a bit of a book nerd. I'm a real diehard romance girl, but I'm also really into thrillers at the moment, those plot twists and mind-bending books. I got a book voucher the other day, it was the best thing ever.
"I can't believe I'm 18, saying 'I want a book voucher'."