Courtney Cramey is no stranger to sacrifice, putting her career on hold to meet the growing demands of the AFLW competition.

Ahead of the 2020 season, the defender decided to take seven months unpaid leave from her job at the Department of Correctional Services for the first time since 2017.

Having experienced her share of soft-tissue injuries over the past three years, the 34-year-old decided it was time to take a step away from full-time work to focus on her football.

“Both organisations have been really flexible in managing my loads but the challenge for me was to make sure I was giving 100 per cent to one or the other,” Cramey said.

“So, given my time in football isn’t going to last forever, I thought it was important to give my all to that.

“It enables me to be at the Club and be able to prep to train better and prevent injuries moving forward.”

With three weeks left until the start of the season, Cramey said having the extra time has paid dividends.

“I feel a lot better, I’ve had more of an opportunity to focus on my recovery and rehabilitation and making sure I get good prehab done before training.

“I’m really feeling refreshed and ready to go.”

Taking time off has also given Cramey to the opportunity to take on a part-time role in Strategy and Projects with the Club.

“The change this year has also enabled me to complete the executive certificate in player development that’s run through the AFLPA in conjunction with AFL Sportsready,” she said.

“That is focusing on the role of being a player development manager which is something I am interested in going into post football.

“That role ties in nicely with my role in corrections which is coming from a social work/policy background.”

Cramey is set to play in the Crows trial match against GWS on Saturday, January 18 at Richmond Oval.

Fans are invited to watch with the game starting at 10.30am.