AVONDALE Heights/Taylors Lakes 100-gamer, Rita Ceravolo has navy blue running through her veins.
She began her journey at the football club when she was in Year Prep, spending most of her junior career playing with the boys.
Although Ceravolo admits that playing football wasn’t on her mind, she is glad that her mum gave her the idea to do so.
“I didn’t really choose to play (footy),” the Lakers’ vice-captain said.
“I was at camp and I came back and my mum said ‘do you want to play footy?’, so I thought it was a good idea because I enjoyed it so I decided to play.”
However, her love of the game had to be put on hold, as there was one thing missing from the club - a senior women’s team.
In order to allow Ceravolo to continue playing football, the club banded together to get a team up and running almost exclusively for her.
The 16-year-old appreciates how much work has gone into establishing a team, as it allows her to strive for a long career in football.
“I was really happy,” Ceravolo said.
“I was just overwhelmed.”
While the club hasn’t achieved ideal on-field results, it has delivered Ceravolo with the opportunity to burst through a banner which congratulated her on playing 100 games.
The Lakers vice-captain admits that when she started playing football, the thought of achieving this milestone never occurred to her.
“I never knew that I’d get this high,” Ceravolo said.
“I never knew that I would play a lot of games because at first I played with the boys, then they finally got a team for the girls for me.”
This meant that Ceravolo could continue to be a one-club player and enjoy her time at the Heights.
“I first came here (to Avondale Heights) because I knew a lot of people,” she said.
“It was all very family-orientated and I just enjoy this club.”
She also has another club to enjoy, as she has been spending some time in the Calder Cannons program and has learnt a lot from the elite players.
“It (Calder Cannons) was really good,” the 16-year-old said.
“I learnt a lot of new skills with different people.”
With all these football opportunities at her disposal, she hopes to achieve the ultimate dream that plenty of females now see as a reality.
“I really want to play (AFLW),” Ceravolo said.
“I hope that I go a long way with my career.”