Why state player Alanna is inspired to succeed
AS a Queensland under-18 representative and Brisbane Lions Academy co-captain, Alanna Perry has the football world at her feet.
Preparing for her latest national championships, the highly motivated Aussie rules player is making terrific progress in the sport.
After a successful 2016 season at club, Academy and state level, the Karalee teenager has added incentive to continue fulfilling her footy goals.
She said seeing the Brisbane Lions reach the recent Women's AFL grand final against Adelaide was an "eye-opener'' for the game.
"It's great to see how far Queensland footy altogether has come,'' Perry, 17, said.
"Like the first year we went away to Sydney for schoolgirls in 2013, Queensland wasn't known as a state to play high-level football.
"To see that we barely lost in the (AFL women's) grand final for Brisbane was really big not just for us but other states to show that we are serious about our football.''
Perry said the situation had changed with the professional standards and training being implemented in programs like the Lions Academy and Queensland under-18 ranks.
The year 12 St Peter Claver College student even bypassed a school retreat this week to concentrate on her preparations for the first block of national championship games.
Perry leaves on Friday for Sydney, where the Queensland under-18 women's team tackles NSW, ACT and Western Australia in matches over the weekend.
After returning home for six weeks of training, the Queensland side completes its two-part national assignment against Vic Metro, Vic County and the Allies (South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory) at the Gold Coast. Those games are in July.
It will be the first time the women have played under this format, bringing it into line with the men.
At previous national championships, Perry has represented Queensland teams at a tournament held over a week.
She shared in the state under-18 team's second place finish in Western Australia in 2015 before the Queenslanders finished fourth in Melbourne last year.
Perry has been co-captain of the Lions Academy team since last September.
The Brisbane Lions side was undefeated in the Under 18 Northern States Academy series in Coffs Harbour playing against the Gold Coast Suns, GWS and Sydney Swans.
The Ipswich student last year was also captain of the under-18 Brisbane South Vixen team. The Vixens made it to the grand final.
During her terrific past 18 months, Perry also played for University of Queensland in the QWAFL league. She was named UQ's best and fairest player as the team finished third.
Nominated for the QWAFL Rising Star Award, she retained her in place in the Queensland under-18 side.
A sign of Perry's increased commitment is her weekly workload.
She regularly trains at Coorparoo and Yeronga with the Academy and Queensland under-18 teams around weekend club and state practice matches.
The player of the future also does three days of extra gym work around working part-time at Woolworths.
State team 'strong, quick and fit'
In her final year of under-18 representative football, Perry said upstaging Vic Metro at the national championships was a a major goal.
"We have a chance of coming out on top,'' the versatile footballer said, mainly playing as halfback flank, back pocket or on the wing.
"The Vic Metro team are the strongest in our comp but we're hopefully going to come close this year.
"We've got a very strong, quick and fit team so hopefully we'll be able to play that to our advantage and beat them.''