Five North Coast girls in State Academy

Georgia Breward and Lilly Doyle. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

The North Coast is rapidly emerging as a breeding ground for talented female players, with five local girls named in the 2018 NSW/ACT Youth Girls Academy.

The Youth Girls State Academy program is an exciting initiative catering to the most talented 17 and 18 year old girls and will lead into state team selection to compete at the Youth Girls national championships.

Leading the way for the local girls are Grafton Tigers duo Georgia Breward (17) and Lilly Doyle (16). Both played for NSW/ACT at the national championships in 2017, with Georgia gaining All Australian squad selection in what was her second season in the state team.

Georgia and Lilly will be joined by Tigers teammate Jordan Speechley (16) whose family moved to Grafton from Darwin at the start of the 2017 season. Jordie played for 6 seasons in Darwin and instantly marked herself as a player to watch, going on to be the Captain of the North Coast Force representative team.

Cassidy Ronalds (16) made the move to AFL from Basketball at the start of the 2017 season, and quickly became a key figure in the Coffs Breakers team that won the premiership. Cass capped an outstanding individual debut season when she was named as the recipient of the Nikki Wallace Medal as the League’s Best and Fairest player.

Macleay Valley Eagles player Lizzie Dickson (17) played a season of footy with the boys in 2016 before really finding her feet in the Youth Girls game this season. Her speed and vision ensure that she poses a constant danger to the opposition, and meant that she was amongst the first players selected for the North Coast Force representative team.

The five players will take part in camps in December, January, and March, before playing in the Northern Academy Series to be staged in Coffs Harbour in April 2018. Following the Academy Series the NSW/ACT Youth Girls Team will be selected to compete in the National Championships in June and July.

Female footy is the fastest growing sport in the region and will see a five team Youth Girls competition (13 to 17 years) played in 2018, together with a four team Women’s competition (16 years +). For further information about any aspect of girls and women’s footy please contact the AFL Northern NSW office on 6659 6000.