Riverina talent set to benefit from Giants' new female academy

Promising ruck Ally Morphett is one of the players chosen in the Giants Academy female squads. Photo: Jon Tuxworth
Promising ruck Ally Morphett is one of the players chosen in the Giants Academy female squads. Photo: Jon Tuxworth

GWS Giants are confident more local Riverina talent will filter its way into the AFLW in coming years after establishing a Female Academy.

The Academy will run acros Southern NSW, Western Sydney and ACT, and aims to give females the same opportunities enjoyed by their male counterparts through the club's academy system.

Giants Academy head coach Cam Bernasconi said the system will cater for the top end talent, but plans are in place for development programs for younger players.

The programs will feature NAB League games against Victoria's best players, clashes with the Swans and will also feed into the Eastern Allies program.

"It's exciting that we can finally mirror the male talent pathways with the women now. The girls will have the same pathway opportunities as the boys have," Bernasconi said.

"It's really exciting that we can have a presence in southern NSW with the Giants academies in the female space now.

AFL Southern NSW Women's players Sarah Harmer with her 11 month old son Parker, Kyra Jackson, Hannah Finemore and Gabrielle Goldsworthy. Picture: Les Smith

AFL Southern NSW Women's players Sarah Harmer with her 11 month old son Parker, Kyra Jackson, Hannah Finemore and Gabrielle Goldsworthy. Picture: Les Smith

"Essentially we'll have development programs from 12-year-olds all the way up until 19-year-olds next year. it grows the game and grows the Giants, but also provides the avenue for talented players to get exposure at the top level with the goal of having strong representation from people in the Giants academy regions like southern NSW on AFLW And AFL lists."

"The academy is 19 down to 16 years and that's the top-end talent, we only have the really talented athletes in that program. But from probably midway through next year we'll look to have development programs for 15s down to 12s for girls as well.

The initial squads are below, with a trial for interested players not included also to be scheduled.

It continues a big year for the women's game in the Riverina after the AFL Riverina Southern Women's competition was expanded to seven teams.

Pre season training squad: Wagga, November 30 - December 18:

Under-19s - Lucy Anderson, Abby Favell, Madison Morris, Zali Spencer; under-18s - Tommi Booth, Abbi Fielder, Mikayla Jones, India Lehman, Ally Morphett, Mindy Quade, Lily Sharp, Alice Trevaskis; under-17s - Tayla Bodycott-Hodges, Tia Charles, Olivia Cicollini, Maisy Condon, Madison Grant, Tara Hadfield, Zara Hamilton, Grace Hay, Nicola McKeon, Anneka Piercy, Charlotte Rainbird, Sally Scott, Jessica Wendt; under-16s - Abbey Anderson, Abbey Hamblin, Kloe Hatch, Bonny McKean, Polly Meckiff, Annaliese Nilsen, Emily Pollard, Aleah Stone, Emma Suckling, Tiara Van Der Plaat, Georgia Wragge.

This story New Giants Female Academy to provide pathways for locals first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.