BENDIGO'S Australian volleyball representative Eliza Hynes has jumped at the chance to join Collingwood for the 2018 AFL Women's season.
Hynes joins the Magpies as a rookie, swelling the number of Bendigo-linked players in the AFLW system to eight.
It will be the 25-year-old's first attempt at Australian rules football.
The 183-centimetre tall Hynes, who has been a regular in the Australian Volleyroos team since 2013, has been signed to provide ruck support for the Magpies' All-Australian Emma King.
Hynes said she was excited to join the Magpies, who finished the inaugural season in fifth position with a 3-4 record.
“I grew up with my dad being a die-hard Collingwood fan and brother playing football so I’ve always been around the game and now having the opportunity to play is a dream come true,” Hynes told Collingwood Media.
“I’ll look at being a forward and back-up ruck, I’ll be looking at those areas to really try and make an impact on the game.”
Collingwood AFLW coach Wayne Siekman said the rookie-listed Hynes’ athleticism would make her a versatile asset for the team.
“For someone that’s never played before her skills and technique are very impressive and exciting for the coaches, playing group and supporters,” he said.
“At 183cm tall with a strong leap it gives her a lot of opportunity to play in numerous positions.
“She’s got a great kick and we’ll work with her to build her understanding of the game.”
Hynes joins former Bendigo Thunder captain Emma Grant at the Magpies, after the Magpies fourth best and fairest last season recommitted to the club last week.
The star volleyballer has represented Australia in both indoor and beach volleyball, as well as netball, and last June got the chance to represent her nation in front of her home crowd, when the Volleyroos took on Cuba, Colombia and Croatia in a World Grand Prix event at Bendigo Stadium.