Shepparton’s Angela Foley has made the Northern Territory her own.
So much so the Shepparton-raised footballer was ranked at number 96 in the NT News’ list of the Northern Territory’s 120 most powerful people last year.
Foley was the only NT-based AFLW player to be included with the rating also reflecting her involvement in the community as a teacher.
The Adelaide defender sees the funny side of the ranking, leaving dad John to boast.
‘‘My dad hasn’t shut up about that, he’s shocking, he’s so proud of it where I think ‘well that was the NT News’ opinion and it may not be others’ opinion’,’’ Foley said with a chuckle.
‘‘I think it’s more that I’m a teacher in a really big school and then being at the Crows they put all that together so it’s a bit of a laugh.’’
With her family stoked by what she continues to achieve, Foley was thrilled to join all her relatives for Christmas day celebrations.
‘‘I don’t think I’ve been home for Christmas day with my (extended) family for nearly three years, so we have a Christmas lunch and dinner at one of my aunty’s, so it was awesome to catch up with all the family.’’
Finishing work in the NT, Christmas in Shepparton, trips to Melbourne to visit brother Brett and his new baby as well as time in Adelaide all awaited Foley on her two-week break.
But Foley took all the travelling in her stride, given that playing for Adelaide in the AFLW means plenty of hours spent at the airport.
‘‘I flew Melbourne to Adelaide and thought ‘oh my God this is a dream’,’’ she said.
‘‘If you want to go anywhere from Darwin it’s four hours no matter where you go.’’
With constant travel part of Adelaide’s AFLW team given the partnership the Crows have with AFLNT, Foley makes the most of her time in the sky.
That might mean using it as well-earned down time or starting school reports.
‘‘I think you just get used to it and I try and make sure I make the most of my time in the air, if I need sleep I try and do that,’’ Foley said.
‘‘But it can also be relaxed time, I don’t get time to watch a movie, so I might have a laugh at a comedy or at other times do school work, it just depends what’s going on.
‘‘I think I just take the positives and relax ... I don’t get stressed out that I’m going to be tired (on arrival).’’
In a first the NT-based players will finally have an authentic home game when Fremantle plays a Friday afternoon game in Darwin this season.
But the constant hours in transit and distance between the team proved not to be a disadvantage, as Adelaide claimed the inaugural AFLW premiership last season.
Foley was a joint vice-captain of the side with league best-and-fairest Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall holding the leading role.
Having Phillips in the team has brought an added elite nature to Adelaide, as Phillips draws on her background playing for the Australian Opals.
‘‘She’s brilliant the way she goes about her business and training and I sometimes just find myself looking back and watching and trying to learn from her in the short period I’ve got with her,’’ Foley said.
‘‘She’s really nice, she’s got a beautiful little family, she’s got everything.’’
While the leadership group for this season is yet to be confirmed, Foley will stand up whether she receives the official badge or not.
‘‘I loved it, it’s nice to be recognised by your peers who let you in to be one of the leaders, but everyone can be a leader, everyone in the team can whether you’ve got a captaincy role or not,’’ she said.