McGrady surprised by All Star call-up
FROM growing up playing backyard footy with her siblings to the bright lights of representing her people in the Indigenous All Stars game, it's been one hell of a journey for Sharon McGrady.
McGrady played her first competitive game of rugby league at the 2010 Aboriginal Knockout, before quickly falling in love with the sport and developing into a prodigious talent.
"As a kid growing up in a family that lived and breathed rugby league and spending every weekend at the football watching my dad and brothers play, I wanted to play as well," McGrady said.
The 25-year-old, who has also represented New South Wales in touch football, said her favourite thing about the sport was the competitiveness and the friendships.
McGrady predominantly plays as a halfback but said she can and will step into whatever role her team needs her to play.
It's this versatility which will make McGrady a valuable asset to coach Dean Widders during the All Stars clash.
"I was very surprised when I got the call up, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of this team," she said.
"I'm expecting this game to be hard and physical as there are a few NRLW and New Zealand Moari players with some experience of those high level type of games.
"To put on an Indigenous All Stars jersey and represent my culture and my family is one of the highest privileges for me because no other team can make you feel that passion when playing for your culture, as it is apart of who I am."
McGrady's call-up to the Indigenous side completes an incredible 12 months for the playmaker, who moved back to Sydney at the beginning of 2018 to represent the Roosters in the NRLW after becoming a mother.
The All Stars game is being played at Aami Park in Melbourne on Friday, February 15.