Mak­ing mark on AFL scene

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - FRONT PAGE - PATRICK GEE

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.”

Pic­ture: PATRICK GEE

GIRL POWER: New Nor­folk's Char­lie Lovell, 13, left, and Perri King, 14, have been se­lected for the AFL's Woomeras rep­re­sen­ta­tive squad.

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