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Would you drive 1,200 kilometres to play a game of footy?

Courtney Wakefield does this road trip every week.

The 31-year-old Richmond Victoria Football League player drives to Melbourne every Friday from her home at Top Hut Station, near Pooncarie in far western New South Wales, to play the game she loves.

To some, the 14-hour round trip to kick a footy might seem excessive, but the dedicated full-forward has been waiting 20 years to strap the boots back on.

"I played footy for the Euston Bombers Under 11s side and absolutely loved it, but girls couldn't go any further than that, so I had to change to netball," Ms Wakefield said.

She hoped her story would encourage more girls in the bush to pick up the sport, no matter what challenges they face.

"I know my situation has created a bit of attention. So hopefully I can use that for good to inspire the younger generations to have a go."

Female footballer chats to younger female about women's football

Juggling farm life, kids and a career

Ms Wakefield's journey back to the game was a challenge from day one.

She turned up to a Richmond VFL training run in Bendigo with her seven-week-old son on her hip.

"I was in a bit of a newborn haze and I did have to stop halfway to feed him," the mother of two said.

"[Richmond AFLW coach] Kate Sheahan was fully understanding of my situation and having the little baby in tow.

"There would be things I'd have to do and the club was fantastic and have been from the get go."

As for her pre-season training, there's no flash gym or complicated training schedule. Living in the country, Ms Wakefield said she made do with what she had, to get it done.

"I just get around in my runners and sports bra and hand the kids over for half an hour and jump on to the dirt track road and run," she said.

Opportunity knocks for next generation of footy girls

While it took two decades to get back onto the ground, Ms Wakefield said she was grateful for the opportunities that had opened up for women who loved Australian Rules football.

"After Under 11s, there wasn't the opportunity that girls have now so we switched codes and played netball," she said.

"Given my location, age and two kids, it was going to gain attention which is fine. I want to use that in a positive light and create a pathway for future generations."

Female footballer kicks football at goal posts

Footy stars grown in the bush

With Richmond Football Club on the prowl to head its first AFLW side in 2020, coach Kate Sheahan said scouting for AFL stars started in regional areas.

"They [women in the regions] have to find their own way, they have to come up with creative games and there's a lot of free play that occurs in regional country towns," she said.

"There's a lot of want for these girls to make it — there are a lot of hurdles they have to jump through."

With dreams to make it to Richmond's first AFLW team in 2020, Ms Wakefield said family would always come first.

"It's a goal for sure, but I'm 31 and would love to have more children. Obviously I'd love to play AFLW and for Richmond, but we'll just take it a season at a time."

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