Three members of the Jimboomba Redbacks under 15s girls team have returned as more experienced and skilled players after playing for Queensland at the AFL Football 15 and under Girls National Championships at Maroochydore late last month.
Marni Balmforth, Chloe Ackland and Phoebe Balmforth were all picked in the side which was considered a development team against the other states which included traditional AFL powerhouse states like Victoria and South Australia.
The girls had a week of training with their Queensland teammates before the championships and Phoebe said though they did not win any games, they were still proud of how they played.
“We did really well, we worked together as a team really well, and we learnt a lot,it was great experience for us,” she said.
“We were the development team, so we were the younger side and the smaller side, we didn’t win any games but we got really close to winning some, I think we did really well for a development team.”
The girls had to back up from the week long championships with a game for Jimboomba against a tough Zillmere side something Marni said was a challenge.
“That was really hard after a full week of footy, to then come into that game with no break,” she said.
Chloe said she is now full of belief after playing at the national championships.
“It was really fun and I think ti game me a confidence booster, especially because Ive only just started and it’s made me really enjoy AFL even more than the other sports that i used to do and it’s the thing I like doing more now,” she said.
With the AFL launching a professional women’s league in 2017 the girls are excited about the potential opportunities their s[port offers.
"Yeah, hopefully as we grow older we might have a chance at doing that, I know that we are all trying out for club football rep teams now, Marni and I are trying out for Sunsets and Chloe is trying out for Vixens, and that will kind if lead us onto the track of women’s AFL, hopefully we will have a women’s club here next year and more girls teams as well,” Pheobe said.
“it’s really good because AFL is booming now, it’s a good time to get into it, so then if you want to become professional at it you can and it would be good to see more new faces down here next year,” Marni said.
For now the girls focus is on their final game for the Redbacks for the season against Ipswich this weekend.
“It’s our last game this week against Ipswich, hopefully it’ll be fun and we’ll come out with the win to end it on a high,” Chloe said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.