She may only be 20 years old, but Ruby Sargent-Wilson has already seen it all in her AFLW career.
From the lows of the Swans going winless through their maiden 2022 campaign to the highs of making finals one year later, it's already been a rollercoaster journey for the Woonona talent - and her Sydney teammates.
In just their second season, the Swans ensured that they would play finals in 2023 with a gritty 22-point away win over Fremantle last weekend. It was their fourth victory from their past five starts as they sewed up eighth spot on the ladder.
Sydney will now meet the Suns in a sudden-death final on the Gold Coast this Saturday night.
"It's been a long journey to get here, and there's been a lot of hard work behind the scenes, so it's a really nice reward to play finals. There's a lot of excitement around the club and we have so support around us, so it's a super proud moment for our team," Sargent-Wilson told the Mercury.
"It's been a massive turnaround for us and I think it's all about our culture here at the Swans. We're lucky enough to be shadowing the men's program with all of their trademarks and the culture that they've brought to the club, and we're just mirroring that throughout our team. And during the off-season, we put in so much work, we've been pretty much training all of this year.
"We always speak about following our processes and that's paid off for us this year."
Sargent-Wilson is no stranger to making AFLW history.
Ahead of their 2023 campaign, the Illawarra rookie told the Mercury that she was determined to nail down a full-time position in the Swans' side.
Sargent-Wilson played in the opening two rounds before she was omitted by Swans head coach Scott Gowans ahead of their clash with the Lions. However, she returned to the top-grade team with a bang five weeks later, kicking two goals - including her first ever in AFLW - in a 57-point thumping of the Bulldogs.
Since then, she's retained her spot as Sydney claimed victories over Collingwood and the Dockers to book their ticket to the finals.
"I was hoping to secure my spot in the team early on, so being in and out was obviously difficult. But I put my head down and kept working hard to get back into the team," Sargent-Wilson said.
"The direct feedback was that I wasn't in the form that they wanted during those few weeks I was out, and it was often due to match-ups and things like that. It was obviously tough to hear that, especially when train so much and you train to play. But that fuelled me and I've kept on going, and I've been very happy to get the opportunity to play again the last few weeks.
"I've been really proud and happy with the way I've been able to do get back in. And to play in some critical games in the last few weeks - and be part of that for the team and myself - it's been amazing and something that is very special to me."
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