Angels make mark
GIRLS CHASING FOOTBALL DREAMS
THESE are the local girls eying off an AFL dream and honing their skills at Belmont-based football club Perth Angels.
Emily Pickett, Rachel Ashley, Cali Hunt and Aleisha Duncan are the Angels’ up-and-comers also involved with WA’s state squad.
In coming seasons they hope to use that platform to propel themselves into the new national competition.
Next year marks a milestone for women’s football as the AFL’s inaugural women’s competition kicks off. The Perth Angels are among nine teams in the WA Women’s Football who will help elite players enter the state squad and get to the draft for the emerging competition.
The new AFL competition will start with eight teams aligned with AFL clubs – four from Victoria and one each from WA, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.
By mid-May, the AFL is expected to announce which AFL clubs were successful in their bid to have women’s teams.
Perth Angels in recent years have joined forces with WAFL club Perth Demons and Belmont Junior Football Club to create better pathways for girls entering the sport.
Club president Kristy Geuer said the club had come a long way since its beginnings in 2011.
“We have two teams at the moment and next year we hope to grow to three teams: youth girls, reserves and seniors,” she said.
“Our youth team is looking to be quite strong this year; we’ve been building them up for four years now.”
The dedication of the players is clear, with some training up to four times a week between club and state duties.
Across Australia, female participation in football has soared.
There were 163 new female football teams that began in 2015, with the number of women taking part in the game approaching 300,000.
Emily Pickett, Rachel Ashley, Cali Hunt and Aleisha Duncan.