Barker blaz­ing a trail in Ama­teurs

Canning Times - - SPORT -­mu­ni­ d486739

EVEN af­ter miss­ing the fi­nal three home and away games of the sea­son, Curtin Uni­ver­sity Wes­ley’s Jessie Barker claimed a place in his­tory by shar­ing the WA Ama­teur Foot­ball League’s in­au­gu­ral women’s A Grade Best and Fairest award.

Barker, who fin­ished the year in­jured, tied with Re­becca Viney from North Beach.

The Wil­lagee res­i­dent said it was a sur­prise and very ex­cit­ing to win the top prize for the first time.

“It was nice to feel like a bit of a pi­o­neer,” she said.

Her team­mate Clair Ed­wards won the lead­ing goal­kicker ti­tle af­ter nail­ing 23 goals this sea­son.

The in­di­vid­ual awards were some­thing to take away from the year af­ter the Tigers went through the sea­son un­de­feated only to lose the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal and miss the chance to play in the premier­ship de­cider.

Barker started play­ing foot­ball in Al­bany when she was eight years old and played for WAFL club Clare­mont when she moved to Perth. She switched to Curtin Uni­ver­sity Wes­ley be­cause she wanted to play at a more so­cial level.

Barker said she and her team­mates were try­ing to build a path­way for girls in Aussie Rules.

“We want to play, we want to have fun, so I hope to be one of the peo­ple who in­spire younger girls to try some­thing that maybe they are a bit in­tim­i­dated to do be­cause it is so male-dom­i­nated,” she said.

Other Tigers play­ers who won ac­co­lades at the WAAFL Awards were Klin­ton Wil­liams for best and fairest for A Re­serves, An­drew Jon­son for D1 and Jesse Wil­son for D1 Re­serves. THE new sum­mer sea­son is about to start at Bi­bra Lake’s Pro Fut­sal Cen­tre, and one club is of­fer­ing more lo­cals a chance to join the fun.

Start­ing life as the South Metro Fut­sal Club in 2012 be­fore re­brand­ing last year, the South Perth Fut­sal Club has grown in both num­bers and suc­cess, field­ing teams across al­most a dozen age groups and be­ing named cham­pi­ons in a re­cent 15s JSFL com­pe­ti­tion.

Club Pres­i­dent Alex Her­rera said their goal for the com­ing sea­son was to de­velop new and ex­ist­ing play­ers, in­clud­ing start­ing an U15 girls team.

“We con­cen­trate on be­ing a de­vel­op­ment club more than any­thing,” he said.

“Suc­cess for our first teams are goals, yes, but de­vel­op­ing top play­ers from a young age is para­mount to us.

“Fut­sal is high­in­ten­sity; it pro­motes us­ing your mind quickly as well as your body.”

Email SPFC at info@up­skilled­per­for­ for more in­for­ma­tion.

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