The Northern Territory news Thu 7 Apr 2022
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
Thursday April 7 2022 SPORT 37 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Territorys best young talent named in Allies side THIRTEEN of the Territorys best under-18 female footballers have been picked to represent the Allies in the NAB AFLW National Championships. Making the 25-member squad are: JNoemi Anderson (Thunder Academy), Kyanne Campbell (Thunder Academy), Erini Gikas (St Marys), TSharni Graham (Palmerston), Rhania Hewitt (Southern Districts), Cassie McWilliam (Nightcliff), Grace Mulvahil (Southern Districts), Ciaralii Parnell (St Marys), Tatyana Perry (Palmerston), Emma Stark (St Marys), Grace Whittaker (Southern Districts), Freda Wosomo (Darwin) and Kierra Zerafa (Waratah). The Allies will take on a composite NSW-ACT team on April 18 at Blacktown International Sports Park in Sydney. However, players from NSW and the ACT will join the Allies squad for the second and third matches of the competition. They will play South Australia at Werribee on April 22 and Queensland on the Gold Coast on April 30. St Marys young gun Emma Stark, 16, said it was huge news to be included in the Allies team but expected it to be a lot harder to make the squad for the final two games. Its great for my footy career thats building, hopefully, Stark said. This will be the biggest game of our lives at the moment. Weve really got to make the most of it. Stark was also part of the under-18 NT Thunder Academy team which beat the Murray Bushrangers in late March by two points. I got a goal which was nice, and we got the two-point win which was pretty sensational, she said. They came back, I was a bit nervy, to be honest. The experience was awesome as well. We literally flew down to Melbourne, we were in Melbourne for less than 24 hours. Its the kind of experience that AFLW players had this season. Ben Cameron Emma Stark. Picture: AFL Photos Melbournes Tayla Harris (main) dreams of grand final success after experiencing losses in the decider playing for Carlton in 2019 (above left) and Brisbane in 2017. She will be the first footballer to play in three AFLW grand finals for three different clubs. Main picture: Michael Klein TAYLA Harris was never prepared for the spotlight. As a kid, she said, she rode her bike around the Brisbane streets until dark. As a fledgling footballer, she trained for a couple of hours during the week, went out for dinner with teammates then played at weekends. Now she is one of footballs most recognisable faces and kicks. The exponential rise isnt lost on her. Nor is the fact that she was so underprepared for what her life became. I often reflect and smile about the fact Im just some kid from Queensland and that all this is happening, Harris said. Growing up, I really did just ride my bike until the street lights came on. Its not as if I had some sort of upbringing where I could learn about all this media, playing in front of big crowds, it just wasnt my reality. She admits she had to learn very quickly as life in the spotlight quickly became reality. This week will be no different but Harris, 24, feels better equipped than ever before to counter whatever right hook or jab is coming next. Every year, every season presents new challenges and without doubt something will happen Ive learned that, she laughed. I cant predict what it will be, but I think I am able to kind of have a breath and think, this is the situation Ive got right now, how am I going to go about it? and have a strategy. Some things you just have to react in the moment and hopefully it works out well. On Saturday, she becomes the first footballer to play in three AFLW grand finals for three different clubs Brisbane, then Carlton, now Melbourne when the Demons tackle Adelaide at Adelaide Oval. All three deciders will be against the Crows. So far, two have fallen on the wrong side of the ledger. But Harriss form has never been better. She was named a four-time All-Australian player on Tuesday after a blistering season up forward for Melbourne, which followed a turbulent off-season that included an ugly exit from the Blues. This year, she hasnt shied away from one major realisation. I dont owe anyone anything, she said. It dawned after the storm that surrounded her leaving Ikon Park, landing at Melbourne on a one-year deal with a determination to prove her worth. Shes done that in spades, according to skipper and close friend Daisy Pearce, with their relationship seeded in the common ground of an atmospheric rise. You kick around playing footy for a long time and doing your thing working jobs and no one really caring, and then suddenly they do. It has its challenges and things that weve been able to share, Pearce said. The off-season played out the way it did for her I couldnt be more impressed with the player and person that weve gotten off the back of that and Im so rapt for the club. Far from Far from Tayla-madeTayla-made Lauren Wood
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