April gets her chance to shine in April

Swans White (Sydney) vs. Swans Red (HCC/NNSW)

April Devine has been rewarded for strong performances during the recent Summer Series with selection in the NSW/ACT team for the 2022 NAB AFLW Under 19 Championships.

April, who turns 19 at the end of this month, is one of 24 players  selected to represent the state. Having played for the Allies at last year’s National Championships she would have already been in the selectors’ minds, and her efforts for the Sydney Swans Red team in the Women’s Summer Series sealed the deal.

When asked about players that stood out in the final round at Manuka Oval in Canberra, newly appointed Sydney Swans AFLW coach Scott Gowans called April out.

“April Devine is a strong defender who can play forward, a key positions player. She has very strong hands and pressures really well,” Gowans said.

Dedication is a key factor that selectors look for and, in April’s case, they know they get that in spades. Living in Kempsey and playing for the Coffs Harbour Breakers, April regularly treks 100 kilometres and further each way just to make it to training sessions and home games for her North Coast club.

This season the National Championships will take on a different format, with matches to be played in each State and Territory. These matches will comprise local talent competing in teams selected by respective State coaches to ensure girls are provided with the best opportunity to showcase their skills and continue their football journey to the elite competition.

The NSW/ACT team will play one match against the Allies W (Tasmania/NT) in Sydney on Monday 18 April at Blacktown International Sports Park.
Following that, the best identified players from the NSW/ACT team will join the Allies to play against South Australia on Friday 22 April and then against Queensland on Saturday 30 April.
With AFL North Coast introducing a new Youth Girls Under 14 age group in 2022 to complement the Youth Girls Under 17 and Women’s competitions, and with the region’s new partnership with the Sydney Swans Academy, there are more opportunities than ever for girls to follow in April’s footsteps. All clubs are still accepting registrations, to find your nearest club go to play.afl.