The older girls at QBE Sydney Swans Academy made history this week when they played in red and white for the first time and were the first female Swans teams on the field.
Front and center four locals, with Phoebe Baptiste and Poppy Johnston both playing on the U17 team and Shania King and April Devine playing on the U19 team. “It was a meaningful day,” said Jared Crouch, head coach of the academy. “We will always look back at the start, where it all started when the Swans had their first official female teams.”
Phoebe and Poppy had the honor of being on the first Swans team to play in a match, because the U17 game was the first on the program. Not only was this the Swan’s first ever female match, but it is also recorded in the history books as the Swan’s first ever female footy win. The girls challenged a comfortable 74 to 38 against their fantasized rivals the GWS Giants.
Poppy played in midfield, where she was on the ball all day, and pushed forward to put her name on the top scorer list. Phoebe was deployed halfway down the back line, where her strong interception skills completed numerous Giants attacks.
The Swans ‘dominance continued in the U19 game, where a few late Giants goals resulted in the Swans’ otherwise dominant 67-47 victory More prestigious.
Shania King played on the wing and covered a lot of territory while her speed was a constant threat. The highlight of Shania’s day was when she left her direct opponent behind and calmly scored a goal.
April Devine played in the jerk, where she used her skills to great effect to regularly compete against bigger and stronger opponents win.
The games on Sunday were the first of a two-game series against the Giants and are part of the selection process for the Allied team that will take part in the AFLW’s national U17 and U19 championships on the Gold Coast in April should participate.
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