Massey High School student Jolyn Collins was named best on ground for Tasmania as she represents the state in the AFL National Youth Girls Championships in Melbourne, Australia.
AFL Female Football development Manager Jan Cooper came up with the idea when she wanted to increase the development of young females playing AFL in New Zealand and Collins jumped at the chance and now proudly representing New Zealand as she plays for Tasmania.
The Tasmanian under-18 girls youth squad went up against South Australia in their opening match of the 2016 Youth Girls National Championships.
Although the side went down 2.4 (16) to 7.4 (46), AFL Tasmania Regional Development Manager Leigh Elder said the girls surpassed expectations.
“It was their first game at this level and half of the squad has played less than 10 games,” Elder said.
“Structure wise we were a bit behind SA who were Pool B champions last year.
“But to only go down by five goals was a very promising start and the girls learnt a lot.”
Tasmania’s goals were scored by Lizzie Stokely in the opening minutes and Shannon Harris in the final quarter.
Jolyn Collins, Lauren Stevenson, Lizzie Stokely, Lovesth Ochayi, Georgia Hill and Daria Bannister were named among the best players with Collins having a consistent game playing off the half back flank.
Elder said the opening match had given the side confidence ahead of their match-up with the Northern Territory on Tuesday.
“We go in with a lot of confidence and hopefully we can get our first ever win at a national carnival,” he said.
Tasmania’s next game is against the Northern Territory starting at 11am NZT and can be streamed live at: www.aflcommunityclub.com.au/index.php?id=748