When Mia King was nominated for the AFLW's Rising Star award last year, former Launceston coach Ange Dickson said it was just the start.
Almost three seasons and 34 games later, King and her North Melbourne side are preparing for a grand final, taking on Brisbane at Carlton's Ikon Park on Sunday.
"Mia is one of those players that's really consistent week in, week out," Dickson said.
"Obviously the occasion is huge but I think she's somebody that will thrive on the big stage and really relish the opportunity and make the most of it.
"Hopefully she enjoys every second while she's out there."
King is no stranger to performing on the big stage, named best on ground in Launceston's 2020 TSLW premiership win over Glenorchy - her second Blues flag.
The former Scotch Oakburn College student has also had a career-best season in the AFLW, averaging 20.4 disposals and 8.9 tackles, which was the sixth-highest in the league.
Dickson elaborated on where her former teammate's game has improved in 2024, praising her maturity.
"[At the start of 2022], she was probably just a bit of a see-ball, get-ball player but she's obviously worked really hard in her connection with the other midfielders with Jas [Jasmine Garner] and Ash Riddell and it's showing," she said.
"She's found her spot in that team and made it her own and to see the change in how she's playing and the change in her strength and skill execution is phenomenal."
King and Dickson first met in 2017 when the young gun moved to Launceston from East Launceston's junior club.
From there, they were teammates in the Blues' 2017 premiership team and played together until the TSL disbanded in 2020 and Launceston joined the NTFA the following year.
Reflecting on their time as teammates, Dickson said King consistently had a calming aura and a go-with-the-flow mentality.
"Playing alongside Mia, you always felt comfortable when she was lining up next to you and you knew that no matter what, even if she wasn't feeling great, or if she had other things going on in her life, you knew that each week she was going to bring the best that she had," Dickson said.
"That was something that I always really relished lining up next to her back in the TSL."
King is one of three Tasmanians named in North Melbourne's extended line-up, alongside vice-captain Nicole Bresnehan and Ellie Gavalas, while Launceston's Dominic Schiliro will be a boundary umpire for the match-up.