Young Blues forward Alison Brown says she's been blown away by the reception of the inaugural NAB AFL Women's season.
Despite being picked up as a free agent from St Kilda Sharks, the 19-year-old has featured in all six of Carlton's games this season, noticeably growing in confidence with each performance and displaying her competitiveness and skill.
With the Blues' final-round clash against Brisbane looming, Brown says the enormity of her debut season has sunk in.
“It's (AFLW) really exceeded my expectations. The crowds we’ve had and the support we’ve had have been really awesome,” Brown said.
“That first game especially was such an awesome feeling. Having not played much footy, it was really cool and I’ve just completely fallen in love with the sport more after this season.”
This season has had its ups and downs for the Blues, with three away losses getting in the way of a grand-final berth.
Despite the likelihood of missing the grand final, Brown says the chance to play in the forward line has been a real opportunity for her to develop her skills.
“I feel a lot more at home in the forward line and I think I know what I’m doing a bit more up there,” she said.
“I find Darcy (Vescio) really easy to find on the lead so I think I work well with her, and also the others in the forward line as well.”
After a disappointing loss to Fremantle last round, Brown is confident her teammates can turn things around in Sunday's clash against the undefeated Brisbane Lions at Ikon Park.
The Blues would need a considerable win against the Lions, while also relying on Adelaide and Melbourne losing, to make the grand final against Brisbane.
“We didn’t control what we could control (against Fremantle) and that’s really disappointing. Instead we’ve left it to chance and a grand-final spot is a lot less likely now," she said.
“I’m confident and I think we’ve got something to prove.
"It’s the last game of the season it’s a good opportunity for me to show every that I’ve learnt and how far I’ve come."