Cork football legend Bríd Stack says everything has aligned in her life to allow her to pursue a professional Aussie Rules career.
The 11-time All-Ireland winner is set to join Mayo's Cora Staunton and Donegal woman Yvonne Bonner at the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
The 34-year-old hung up her inter-county boots in 2019, and is set to leave for Sydney later this year. She told OTB AM that now is the perfect time in her life for her to give life in the AFLW a shot.
"It all kind of snowballed this year, I'm just very fortunate that I'm in a position to go and my husband is able to go. All the ducks seemed to line up this year!
"It's an opportunity I couldn't pass up so I'm definitely going to grab it with two hands. A couple of years back myself and Cora [Staunton] were talking after a ladies football do and I was asking her how she was getting on over in Australia.
"She was asking me if I had any interest in going over, and at the time I didn't - I knew I was retiring from ladies football, I was hoping to start a family and we had set up our own business a couple of years back... It wasn't in my mind that that would have been an option.
"Fast forward two years and Alan McConnell, the head coach of the Giants, made contact with me and we put wheels in motion early last year."
The St Val's clubwoman, who won the Ladies Footballer of the Year Award in 2016, gave birth to a baby boy in 2019 and says her body has recovered very well.
Excited&grateful to be joining @GWSGIANTS for 2021 season🇦🇺 Looking forward to a professional sport environment & learning as much as possible.Can't wait to meet my new teammates & thankful to still be able to exchange Fr. Ted 1liners with @duckie15 & Yvonne 🇮🇪 #landdownunder☀️ pic.twitter.com/lTPdqnMHXU
— Bríd Stack (@BridStackie) October 7, 2020
"I was very content with my inter-county career and I had the time of my life doing that. I was very ready to start a family, and thankfully we were blessed with a little boy last year.
"Even after pregnancy I didn't know how my body would be and if I could get all my strength back. Thankfully I've been with Colin O'Shaughnessy from Elite Fitness - I was working with him throughout my pregnancy and afterwards, he's a right drill sergeant so I've been working away with him and was able to go back training with the club this year so it was brilliant."
Setanta Ó'hAilpín was the last Cork person to represent the GWS Giants, and Bríd says that leaves her with big shoes to fill.
"That's a big, big step to follow. I'm not sure I'd be in the same bracket as him, but he went over and made a fantastic career out of it.
"All I can do is do my best, and I'm just very fortunate that I have good support structures coming out with me. I feel very lucky and very fortunate to be honest.