The best female under-18 players are set to strut their stuff in the fifth annual Under-18 Youth Girls National Championships with the competition kicking off next week in Gungahlin, Canberra.
Girls from all over the country will gather to represent Victoria Metro, Victoria Country, Western Australia and Queensland in Division 1 and South Australia, Australian Capital Territory/New South Wales, Northern Territory/Tasmania and The Woomeras, a team made up of indigenous players, in Division 2.
The carnival will run from the 3rd to 8th of May and will challenge these talented young players in more ways than one.
Vic Metro took the honours in Shepparton last year, overcoming WA by 15 points despite trailing at half time. A three-goal-to-none third quarter paved the way for Vic Metro to claim the title with midfielder Kellie-Marie Gibson being awarded best-on-ground.
Victoria’s Caitlyn Edwards, Ellie Blackburn and Rebecca Privitelli were inspiring while WA’s enigmatic forward Kira Philips was covered effectively by Katherine Smith.
The Youth Girls National Championships offers a challenge for the under-18 girls, who are the future of women’s footy, to truly test themselves on an annual basis. As well as opening up new networks, the girls gain invaluable experience playing multiple games in the one week while taking on the best young players in the country.
Former Collingwood Magpies and Brisbane Bears player and Queensland coach Craig Starcevich, who was part of Collingwood’s 1990 premiership, expressed his excitement for the carnival.
“Female football is one of the fastest growing areas of our game and the girls deserve a program of equal quality to the boys, with a more elite level focus,” he said.
Youth Girls competitions are available all over the country with most including programs to help link youth clubs to senior women’s clubs, making the transition to senior footy as seamless as possible.