Making mark on AFL scene
CROSSING off goals on the way to AFLW careers, New Norfolk’s Perri King and Charlie Lovell have been selected for the AFL’s Woomeras representative team.
The girls are two of only 24 players selected nationwide following a successful campaign at the AFL Female Diversity Championships in Byron Bay last month.
Indigenous and multicultural girls aged 14-16 represented their home states in a tournament which saw the Tasmanian Kickstart squad victorious against New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, draw with Victoria and defeated by Queensland and Northern Territory.
From their performance in Byron Bay, King and Lovell were selected for the Woomeras squad — a personal development and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
“I was shocked because I didn’t think I was going to go this far with football,” King said.
This opportunity has opened up a new career path for the girls who were selected for their leadership skills and football ability, and dream of one day playing professional AFL.
“I didn’t believe that I would actually make it, but then I thought if I really want to go far with football I’m going to try my best and hope for the best,” King said.
“So when I got picked it was really relieving and I was really proud of myself. I’m quitting all of my other sports to focus on football.”
King has wanted to play football since she was very young and was a driving force behind developing the New Norfolk District Football Club junior girls’ team.
“I first got into football when I was younger, I didn’t actually play but I watched my dad coach my brother and his mates for years.
“I used to sit on the sidelines and wait until I could go out on the field.
“When girls were given the opportunity to play football, that’s when it was really exciting because I had been waiting for ages.”
Perri’s passion also led to Lovell joining the team.
“When the girls had their first training session, Perri was training and asked me if I wanted to come down,” Lovell said. “I really enjoyed it and got a passion for it.”
GIRL POWER: New Norfolk's Charlie Lovell, 13, left, and Perri King, 14, have been selected for the AFL's Woomeras representative squad.