MIMI Hill had one thought after winning the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Rising Star award.
“That was so random, guys.”
Anyone who watched Hill’s six games however would disagree, with the 19 year old putting on a dominant performance any time that she took to the field.
Taken by surprise by the award, Hill admitted she dared to dream a few times, but ultimately never thought she would be taking home the award with the calibre of players she was up against.
“I thought maybe I was a chance but I didn’t think I would win it,” Hill said.
“It’s crazy, especially knowing the calibre of the players I was up against, it’s a real honour and I’m excited to play against those players for the next decade hopefully.”
Hill’s return from an ACL injury has been well documented, but what no one expected was for Hill to return in better form than her first year.
Hill, on the other hand, thinks she may have been underestimated and was determined to prove she was back for real.
“I knew I was playing better than people expected me to, especially coming off a knee injury and just being a second-year player,” she said.
“I knew that I could give that, especially being on the sideline that whole time, I knew what I could bring.”
Despite having a long stint on the sidelines, Hill credits her teammates for getting her across the line and back playing her best football.
“I had a lot of down days, rehab is hard, but every single one of them at separate times lifted me up and got me going again: that’s why I got back on the field and was able to make the impact that I did,” she said.
“I think the best bit [of tonight] was getting a big hug from Kerryn Harrington when I got back to the table and she just said ‘just take a moment to actually realise that just happened’.”
For Hill, this award changes nothing, except ramping up her hunger to be a better player and reach the ultimate goal: a premiership for the Blues.
“This doesn’t change anything, we’re chasing that premiership,” she said.
“I just want to get better, because now I have this, people will expect things from me and I can’t not live up to it.”
As for the rest of the award ceremony, Hill was excited for one thing more than most.
“The main looked really good, I’m always looking forward to the food.”