Watch This AFLW Player's Reaction To Being Selected, And Try Not To Cry
We seem to have something in our eye as we write this.
It's a big moment in any player's life, in any sporting code: The moment the coach tells you've been picked for your first senior game.
For Haneen Zreika of the GWS Giants, it was extra special -- both because of the way the moment played out and because of who Zreika is.
Zreika, 19, is a young woman from a family of mad rugby league fans in western Sydney who is believed to be the first Muslim, and the first player of Lebanese descent, to play in the AFLW.
She was on the GWS Giants list last year but never played a senior game. At the end of the season, she was delisted. That's a kick in the guts for any player.
But Zreika -- a hard-running midfielder known for her crunching tackles -- showed she could be emotionally tough too. She got on with life, went back to local footy club the Auburn Giants, and played her heart out.
Club sources say she would have been best-and-fairest in the Sydney Premier Division (the top AFL women's competition in Sydney) had she not been suspended.
Long story short, the Giants re-drafted her, giving her another chance. And after an excellent pre-season, Zreika is now in the team to play the Brisbane Lions in Queensland this Sunday.
Her reaction to that news? It all played out during a wonderful moment with coach Alan McConnell which the Giants captured on film.
COACH: What do you think I should do?
HANEEN: I don’t know.
COACH: You don’t know?
HANEEN: I think you should pick me.
HANEEN: 'Cos I’ve trained hard.
COACH: Everyone's trained hard, haven’t they? You must have a better reason than "you trained hard".
HANEEN: 'Cos I want it.
COACH: Yeah, you do want it. But you’re also a better player too, aren’t you? You’re in.
HANEEN: Thanks Alan, you have no idea what it means.
COACH: I have a bit of an idea.
And then coach McConnell says something really lovely.
"Don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself, you just come to be Haneen," he says.
The rise of Haneen Zreika is a triumph for the Giants, who have been seeking to develop local players from the diverse communities of western Sydney. Zreika's success is their success too.
But of course, any player's success is also their parents' success -- even if the parents don't really understand much about their chosen sport.
Things become emotional again as the video shows Zreika calling her mum. But hey, isn't calling your parents always a little awkward?
Anyway, you can watch the video for yourself at the top of this story. Just be aware that expensive devices and warm salty water really don't mix.
Oh, and here's another video you might enjoy too.