Hawking hats, scarves and beanies, Bec Privitelli couldn't shake a sense of uneasiness as she watched her old AFLW side from the stands last season.
Privitelli didn't cut ties with Greater Western Sydney after being delisted at the end of the 2018 AFLW season, choosing instead to sell club apparel during their matches the following year.
The former Giants mechanise co-ordinator was grateful to remain part of the fabric of the club, even in a reduced capacity.
But, at the same time, Privitelli harboured an unmistakable feeling: she belonged out on the field.
"It was kind of tough over the AFLW season, I won't lie," she told AAP.
"Still being there and involved in gamedays, it was hard for me to watch it.
"If I didn't care, if it didn't really matter to me (not being out there), it would have meant I didn't really want it."
Privitelli stood at a career-defining crossroads two years ago, with the former Blue cut from an AFLW list for the second straight season after uprooting her life to move to Sydney.
She quit her job and started laying the groundwork to return home to Melbourne, resigned to playing in the VFLW.
But in a fork-in-the-road moment, Privitelli had a change of heart and decided to stay put.
"I expected to be back in Melbourne and I kind of got left in the dark," the 24-year-old said.
"I couldn't tell you what the tipping point was. At the time, I wasn't focused on playing AFLW again.
"It was just about getting myself in the right space and learning more about who I was."
Although initially content with her six-game AFLW career, a burning ambition to achieve more at the level began to flicker in Privitelli's mind as she honed her craft with Sydney Premier Division side UNSW.
That desire was realised last Saturday as the high-flying forward starred with 14 possessions and six marks in the Giants' one-point triumph over Gold Coast.
"I felt like the hard work paid off," Privitelli said.
"Despite the weather and the scoreline, it was good to get the win."
Clearer skies are tipped to greet GWS down in Launceston against North Melbourne on Saturday afternoon as the Giants seek to start 2-0 for the first time in an AFLW season.
But Privitelli expects their Conference A rivals to come out firing after a narrow opening-round loss to Melbourne.
"It'll be a very tough game," she said.
"When you've got ball-winners like Jenna Bruton, Emma Kearney and Jasmine Garner, they're all elite at what they do.
"I know their backs are quite strong as well. It'll be a challenge for us as a forward line."
Australian Associated Press