Ahead of the AFLW draft this month, the AFL has announced the All-Australian team, featuring 22 of the most talented female young footballers around the nation. The team was announced after the players showcased their talents in the recent 2021 NAB AFLW U19 Championship.
West Australian Ella Roberts was awarded the 2021 NAB Player of the Championships medal. At just 16-years-old, she had a spectacular outing against Victoria Metro, finishing with 31 touches, six inside 50s, and two goals.
While the Margaret River product is ineligible for this year’s draft, she will have plenty of eyes on her as she prepares for next year’s as she was awarded state MVP at the end of the competition.
Joining her as state MVPs are Cynthia Hamilton (Allies), Lauren Young (South Australia), Abby Hewitt (Queensland) and Jaide Anthony (Victoria Country). Victoria Metro has yet to decide on an MVP.
The All-Australian side was based on performances across the championship and challenge matches taking place around Australia, but mostly in Bendigo, Victoria between March 28 and May 23.
Full backs named were Chloe Leonard (Vic Country), a quick, lockdown defender who excels in contest, Isadora McLeay (Allies – NSW), a clean overhead marker and ball user, and Jaide Anthony, (Vic Country) an elite attacking defender.
Maggie Harmer (QLD), a speedy link-up player, begins the half back line, with Lauren Young (SA), a versatile defender who can push into the middle and wins contests. Concluding the backline is Annie Lee (Vic Country), a rebounding intercept defender, with great composure.
The pacey, courageous and clever ball user, Aurora Smith (Vic Country) starts on the wing along with WA’s Courtney Rowley, a solid runner with speed and endurance on her side to help her win tough contests. Also in the centre, is Teagan Levi (QLD), who is a proven ball-winner that can burst through traffic
Beginning the followers is South Australian ruck Zoe Prowse, who has a terrific leap, but can follow through well at ground level. Joining Prowse, are none other than Victoria Metro’s Georgia Presparkis and Charlie Rowbottom, who are expected to go very early on in the Draft.
Jess Doyle (Allies – NSW) who reads the play well and has fantastic goal sense was selected, with Ella Roberts (WA), a versatile and athletic forward who can push into the middle. Stella Reid (Vic Metro), a speedy, crafty, left-footer which rounds out the half-forward line.
At full forward is Paige Scott (Vic Country), a powerful forward with speed that helps her evade opponents, Cynthia Hamilton (Allies – NSW), a versatile player who excels in stoppages, and Georgia Campbell (Vic Metro), a ruck-forward who is superb in the air and on the ground.
Rounding out the 22 is Makaela Tuhakaraina (WA), Tahlia Gillard (Vic Metro), Tara Slender (Vic Country), Zoe Venning (SA), who made the interchange bench.
More AFLW Draft news:
AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan said selection in the NAB AFLW U19 All-Australian Team was a significant honour.
“These girls represent the best young female footballers in the country,” Sheehan said.
“It was a wonderful experience to see first-hand the emerging future stars of the AFLW competition playing and they highlight the quality of talent coming through the national pathway programs.
“The players selected have the exciting combination of elite athleticism, fundamental skills, and plenty of X-factor to have earned their recognition as a NAB AFLW All-Australian.
“Four of the selected players are precocious talents being younger than Draft age with NAB AFLW U19 Championships Player of the Championships Ella Roberts, as well as South Australia’s Lauren Young, Victoria Country’s Paige Scott and Allies MVP winner Cynthia Hamilton.
“All girls will be eligible to play in these Championships again next year ahead of the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft.
“We look forward to watching the progression of this extremely talented group of girls into the NAB AFLW competition and their impact in future years.”
After an undefeated run from her Vic Country team, Mel Hickey was selected as head coach of the side. She offered her congratulations to the girls for their selection.
“This is a fantastic achievement and recognition for these young athletes. It’s been a delight to watch the quality and standard of football improve so much over the years at this age level,” Hickey said.
“I can’t wait to see their football journeys continue with the AFLW draft later this month as all girls have a big future in the game.”
The 2021 NAB AFLW Draft is on Tuesday June 27 at 6:45pm AEST. The draft remains state-based, allowing players to elect which state they wish to play in.
2021 NAB AFLW U19 Championships All-Australian Team
BACKS: Chloe Leonard (Victoria Country/GWV Rebels), Isadora McLeay (Allies/Sydney Swans Academy), Jaide Anthony (Victoria Country/Dandenong Stingrays)
HALF BACKS: Maggie Harmer (Queensland/Maroochydore), Lauren Young (South Australia/South Adelaide), Annie Lee (Victoria Country/Geelong Falcons)
CENTRES: Aurora Smith (Victoria Country/Murray Bushrangers), Teagan Levi (Queensland/Bond University), Courtney Rowley (Western Australia/Peel Thunder)
HALF FORWARDS: Jess Doyle (Allies/Sydney Swans Academy), Ella Roberts (Western Australia/Peel Thunder), Stella Reid (Victoria Metro, Oakleigh Chargers)
FULL FORWARDS: Paige Scott (Victoria Country/GWV Rebels), Cynthia Hamilton (Allies, GWS GIANTS Academy), Georgia Campbell (Victoria Metro/Eastern Ranges)
FOLLOWERS: Zoe Prowse (South Australia/Sturt), Charlie Rowbottom (Victoria Metro/Oakleigh Chargers), Georgie Prespakis (Victoria Metro/Calder Cannons)
INTERCHANGE: Makaela Tuhakaraina (Western Australia/South Fremantle), Tahlia Gillard (Victoria Metro/Calder Cannons), Tara Slender (Victoria Country/Bendigo Pioneers), Zoe Venning (South Australia/West Adelaide)
COACH: Melissa Hickey (Victoria Country/Geelong Falcons)
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