CARLY Bell was stumped when asked what her highlight of the year was - playing for Queensland or winning the premiership with Clermont ladies.
To her, the Maroons offer a chance to learn new skills to pass on, while the premiership is a culmination of hard work and a forever feat with friends.
"Playing for Queensland is just 'do your job and don't stuff up' - it was just an amazing experience because you are playing with people who can all do their job so well.
"I come from my club where I do a lot of on-field coaching, talking a lot, whereas for Queensland they already do that so I just have to worry about my own game which is a different challenge as there is nowhere to hide.
"Queensland is for me and my own benefit in relation to a personal goal but I look at it as every time I am in that camp I am here to learn stuff to take back for the girls.
"I have an expiry date with my age and body, it won't last forever, whereas the premiership lasts forever and is something that you achieve with friends."
Bell firmly believes more Central Highlands women will make a similar step to State level football. And no one is more qualified than her team-mate, captain and friend, Elle Waters (Stitt).
"I am pretty sure between Elle and I we were gunning for the same spot in that Queensland team," the fullback come-backrower said. "It's only a matter of time before Elle gets picked."
"I think that the Brisbane comp has quite a few girls out here that they need to watch out for, and they notice that when we play them as the Crows. I would expect at least one other girl to make the side next year.
"There are a couple of girls out here who could easily make that step up. They are young girls too who could spend a number of years in the side.
"All the work we did with Alan McIndoe in October last year paid off and the quality of our competition this year was a direct result from that."
Bell is the ideal ambassador for Clermont and teaches HPE and English at Clermont State High School, she is hoping to provide inspiration for her students.
"I think it's great that I can take back (my achievements to my students and to my girls)," the former touch football star said.
They are always interested to know what it was like which is really cool.
"I like that the kids can see that someone from a country town can get up there and do something quite impressive I guess.
"That is something that I hope some of these kids can look up to and take a bit of confidence out of to do themselves."
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