When Taneka Todhunter moved to Sydney earlier this year it was a massive step into the unknown.
The chance to chase her dream and play rugby league at the top level drove her to take a huge leap out of her comfort zone and try to make her way in the city as a teenager.
It wasn't easy but with the support of those closest to her and determination to succeed, Todhunter is now able to call herself a State of Origin player.
Last week the Dubbo youngster was named in the NSW under 19s side which will take on Queensland at the Sunshine Coast on June 25.
It continues what has been an incredible few years for Todhunter, who has gone from playing league tag with Dubbo CYMS and testing herself in the tackle format with the Wiradjuri Goannas in the Western Women's Rugby League competition to being a key part of the Roosters Indigenous Academy side in the Tarsha Gale Cup while it was only last month she was in Queensland playing with the NSW Country under 19s at the national championships.
"It's very weird to look back at where I was just a couple of years ago. As a football player and with things off the field as well," Todhunter said.
"I just remember wishing I was down here and hoping for it but now I am here.
"I remember people saying you'd only get a small opportunity and if you get a chance you have to take it and then I'm here and it's crazy how everything has worked out for me."
Todhunter's life has revolved around rugby league in recent times - the move to Sydney proof of that - but the changes and huge amount of hard work was justified when the call came through to say she had made the Blues squad.
"I was fully in tears. It was big news," she said.
"I've been thinking about it a lot and I don't think it's fully sunk in how big it is.
"Obviously I know it's big but to think I've actually made a State of Origin side is crazy."
The under 19s Origin game will be played on the same night as the women's State of Origin clash during a massive weekend for the game.
Todhunter has been named on the bench for the Blues and expects the battle with the Maroons to be unlike anything she's been a part of before.
But for her it's just the next step and the next challenge to overcome.
"It gives me a lot more motivation because it shows what you can do if you put your mind to something and dedicate yourself," she said.
"I've literally dedicated my life to it. I've moved to Sydney with no family. By myself but now with my partner and he's helped a lot.
"But I moved my life, I quit my job in Dubbo to come down here and had no friends and basically no-one.
"It's been hard and challenging but to see how far I've come in football and off the field too. It's been really good to move down here."
The deal with the Roosters led Todhunter to Sydney and she's played the past two Tarsha Gale Cup seasons in the famous red, white, and blue.
The Roosters were beaten in the final by St George this season but Todhunter's performances caught the eye.
And while she deserves a huge amount of credit for the way she's worked to take her game to the next level, the teenager said none of it would have been possible without the support from home.
The role her parents and grandparents have played has been invaluable while many others from the Dubbo region have also reached out.
"The support from back at home is unreal and it helps me," she said.
"It pushes me forward. I see people sharing stuff and saying congratulations and messaging me personally and it really helps to know I've got that support back at home when I've had basically no-one down here."
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