Goulburn sports star Sass Economos, freshly returned from a stint with the Prime Minister's XIII, has been touted as a key figure in the recently announced Monaro Women's squad.
Economos is one of four Goulburn rugby league players named in the Monaro squad, from which a team will be selected to play in the 2020 Country Championships. The others are: Elly Hazelton, Jennaya Ottaway, and Jasmine Tooth.
All four of the girls played in Goulburn's successful Katrina Fanning Shield 2018 grand final, and Economos said their passion for the sport still burned bright, even though Goulburn was unable to field a team in 2019.
"Everyone was still keen on playing, and myself and Elly still play [league] tag," she said.
"When the Goulburn team got pulled, they were a bit gutted about it."
The Monaro women's side, which played in the Country Championships earlier this year, only missed out on finals by four points in the for-and-against tally.
Next year, Economos expects to go at least one step further.
"I think we've both kind of thought if we don't make finals this year, it's less than we expect of ourselves," she said.
"I'll be disappointed if we don't make semis."
Though Economos considers herself new to the sport, she is by far one of the most experienced players in the squad.
She captained the Monaro team in the 2019 campaign, played for the Canterbury Bulldogs in the NSW Premiership, and took to the field for the Prime Minister's XIII against Fiji.
"I think I'm definitely improving a lot quite quickly because I've been given a lot of opportunities," Economos said.
"I'm understanding the game a bit better and the positional play, and hopefully I can help the girls out with that as well."
Monaro coach Josh Hardy said that Economos' presence in the side was a huge bonus, particularly after she played "really well" in the 2019 campaign.
But Economos' focus in 2020 will be to help her teammates develop and fulfill their immense potential.
"There's a lot of new young girls coming up, which is good for the region," she said.
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