Ethiopian-born, Australian Rules-bred: The pre-teen heading for AFLW. She’s just 12 years old and only saw her first game of AFL three years ago, but Amren Abrihim’s already breaking down cultural barriers and demonstrating her potential as a future AFL star.

Arriving in Australia from Ethiopia in 2013, she’d never heard of the game and she admits her first impressions weren’t favourable.

“I watched it on TV and I was like okay, I have no idea what they are doing, they’re just running around and the umpires are calling some rules.”

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But, a year later, she stumbled upon a clinic run by the North Melbourne Football Club.

It was being run by the club’s diversity and inclusion manager Bridget Barker, who said Amren’s eagerness to try something new showed she was a natural leader.

“She literally walked up to us and said, what’s this – can I join in? So a nine-year-old who’s able to do that with confidence is a nine-year-old who really has it within her, I think.”