Anticipation and excitement quickly became astonishment and elation for Bega rugby league star Kezie Apps when she was named Australia's best player.
Apps hadn’t put herself too much in the Dally M medal contention, but was excited to get dolled up.
"They're doing our hair and make-up for us, I can't wait to dress up,” she said emphatically on Wednesday.
"But I'm just happy to be a part of it and experience it, it's going to be the best.
However, the young star was called up to the podium to accept the top honour and the realisation is still sinking in.
"It means so much to me, and all the girls, just to be a part of this ... I was blown away just to get the nomination," she said after accepting the award.
“I was shocked and I still am, I wore the medal all night and kept looking down to read the name, this is just crazy.” she says, still dazed by the honour.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet, I just have to keep looking at it [the medal].”
I was blown away just to get the nomination ... I didn’t think I would get this huge award ... I'm just so happy and on top of the worldKezie Apps
The reality is still setting in for the Bega star, but Twitter was flooded by support and messages of praise Wednesday night and early into Thursday morning.
“I was honestly in shock,” Apps says with a laugh.
“The team mates I was up against, I thought I had no chance, they all played extremely well over the past year and I didn’t think I would get this huge award.”
Apps said the honour was humbling, and she felt honoured and proud to receive such an iconic award.
“I am honestly lost for words, but I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own and I owe a huge thank you to Shaun at UFS [United Fitness Studio], my parents, my family and friends and everyone who has given me advice and helped me along the way,” she said.
“Lastly I want to thank the most important human in my life, Craig [fiance], for his patience and understanding for every time I have to train, get home late or travel away.”
She said the last year had been a roller-coaster of highlights including knocking over Queenslands stranglehold of the origin clash, but continued support from home had given her strength even at tougher moments.
“All the community’s support and their proud comments has picked me up if I ever doubted myself.”
Heading to a grand final promotional event to sign autographs on Thursday, Kezie was still struggling to contain her excitement.
“Whew, I’m just so happy and top of the world,” she said emphatically.