McLean takes a break
KELLI McLean's debut on the rugby league's national stage was meant to be the biggest match of them all.
Instead the former Clermont schoolgirl's dreams were let down as she was given only eight minutes on the park in the Australian Women's All Star clash with the Indigenous Women's All Stars on the Gold Coast.
As one of the fittest and youngest members of the All Stars squad, the Townsville-based 19-year-old said she couldn't help but feel felt a little let down knowing she still had the energy to burn on the field.
"I was pretty disappointed," McLean said.
"My eldest brother Wade was yelling out 'put Kelli on'.
"The time I was out there I definitely gave it everything I could."
Putting it all down to experience, McLean has since jetted off for a well-earned break from football and all its associated stresses, with a month-long holiday in Hong Kong.
But, waiting for her at home is a busy football and work schedule.
Pre-season training has already begun with club side the Burdekin Roosters in the Townsville women's league, and McLean has a ready plan to maintain at least some fitness while overseas.
"I'm pretty keen to run those Hong Kong hills," she said.
Last year McLean and her beloved Roosters reached the grand final undefeated, only to fall at the final hurdle - beaten by Townsville Brothers in the final.
Getting players committed to the game was tough, especially for a league-mad fan like McLean.
"Some girls just don't have the love of the game like I do," she said.
It's hardly surprising then to discover she is also pursuing a career as a personal trainer, with a permanent move back to Clermont never out of the question completely.
"I'd like to get back for a couple of weeks and break some horses," she said.
"It would be good to do a few boot camps in Clermont."