REVEALED: U19 All-Australian team, 16-year-old gun the national MVP

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THE AFL has today announced 2021 NAB AFLW U19 Championships All-Australian Team.

The 2021 NAB AFLW U19 Championships showcased the most talented young female footballers from across the country and provided them the opportunity to showcase their skills against the best.

The team was selected with 18 players on the field and four interchange players with players selected in their best positions.

The 2021 NAB Player of the Championships Medal was awarded to Western Australia’s Ella Roberts. The 16-year-old Margaret River Senior High School student had a game-high 31 disposals, six inside 50s and two goals in game two against Victoria Metro. Roberts is eligible for the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft.

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AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan said selection in the NAB AFLW U19 All-Australian Team was a significant honour.

"These girls represent the best young female footballers in the country," Sheehan said.

"It was a wonderful experience to see first-hand the emerging future stars of the AFLW competition playing and they highlight the quality of talent coming through the national pathway programs.

"The players selected have the exciting combination of elite athleticism, fundamental skills and plenty of X-factor to have earned their recognition as an NAB AFLW All-Australian.

"Four of the selected players are precocious talents being younger than Draft age with NAB AFLW U19 Championships Player of the Championships Ella Roberts, as well as South Australia’s Lauren Young, Victoria Country’s Paige Scott and Allies MVP winner Cynthia Hamilton. All girls will be eligible to play in these Championships again next year ahead of the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft.

"We look forward to watching the progression of this extremely talented group of girls into the NAB AFLW competition and their impact in future years."

Lauren Young in action for South Australia during the 2021 AFLW U19 Championships at Trevor Barker Oval on April 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Victoria Country Head Coach Mel Hickey was selected as the All-Australian coach and congratulated all girls on their selection.

"This is a fantastic achievement and recognition for these young athletes. It’s been a delight to watch the quality and standard of football improve so much over the years at this age level," Hickey said.

"I can’t wait to see their football journeys continue with the AFLW draft later this month as all girls have a big future in the game."

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DEFENDERS

Chloe Leonard (Victoria Country/GWV Rebels)
Date of Birth 01/02/02
Height 167cm
Showed dash and excelled in the contest averaging 17.5 disposals (10 contested possessions) and 5.5 tackles to help hold the opposition to only six goals over the two Championship matches. Has emerged from Ballarat Swans Football Club.

Isadora McLeay (Allies/NSW-ACT, Sydney Swans Academy)
Date of Birth 18/09/03
Height 178cm
Versatile defender who also went forward and showed clean hands overhead and used the ball extremely well by hand and foot. Averaged 16.5 disposals (12.5 contested) 2.5 rebound 50s and kicked a goal when forward. A product of the North Shore Bombers.

Jaide Anthony (Victoria Country/ Dandenong Stingrays)
Date of Birth 20/11/03
Height 165cm
Ultra-consistent defender who runs hard and straight in her attack on the ball having an excellent Championship, averaging 14.5 disposals (seven contested possessions) and three tackles. Indigenous youngster who topped off great performances in the Championship winning Victoria Country’s MVP award. Emerged from Mount Martha Football Club and has represented Victoria Country in cricket.

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Maggie Harmer (Queensland/Maroochydore)
Date of Birth 12/04/03
Height 170cm
Smooth-moving defender who marks well overhead and shows good speed out of defence. Linked up well rebounding for her team having 15 disposals (eight contested) five marks and five tackles in an eye-catching performance against Victoria Country being one of Queensland’s best players. Member of the NAB AFLW Academy.

Lauren Young (South Australia/South Adelaide)
Date of Birth 15/09/05
Height 179cm
Strong marking and aggressive defender who can also push into midfield winning the ball in contests and excelling one on one. From Goodwood Saints Football Club and was outstanding in the Championship averaging 33 disposals (19.5 contested possessions) three marks, 2.5 rebound 50s and eight tackles to win South Australia’s MVP despite not turning 16 years of age until September 2021.

Annie Lee (Victoria Country/Geelong Falcons)
Date of Birth 28/08/03
Height 163cm
Small defender whose intercept marking and ball use on the way out features of her game in the Championships. Averaged 11 disposals (64 per cent efficiency), four marks and three tackles in a rock-solid performance for Victoria Country. A one-touch player with good composure under pressure, she made good decisions with the ball in hand. A three time best and fairest winner at underage level from the Geelong Amateurs.

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MIDFIELDERS

Aurora Smith (Victoria Country/Murray Bushrangers)
Date of Birth 13/12/03
Height 165cm
Winger with blistering speed and ability to win the ball in a contest. Strong overhead showing courage and clean hands she had an outstanding Championship averaging 20 disposals (10 contested possessions) 2.5 marks, three clearances and 2.5 tackles. Also won the Daisy Pearce Medal as the best and fairest player with the Bushrangers, she hails from Shepparton United.

Teagan Levi (Queensland/Bond University)
Date of Birth 14/08/03
Height 169cm
Midfielder who is a prolific ball-winner and has a neat step through traffic. Super athletic player with speed, agility, strength in one-on-ones and was a standout against Victoria Country having 17 disposals and laying nine tackles. A multi-sports athlete being a national level Rugby 7s player, she is also a member of the NAB AFLW Academy.  

Courtney Rowley (Western Australia/ Peel Thunder)
Date of Birth 24/09/03
Height 167cm
Prolific ball-winning midfielder who can play inside or outside. Very athletic type who gets to multiple contests using her speed and endurance combination to great effect averaging 26 disposals (16.5 contested possessions) 7.5 tackles and 2.5 marks in the Championships. A best and fairest winner for Peel last year in a premiership year, she hails from the Mandurah Mustangs and is a member of the NAB AFLW Academy.

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Zoe Prowse (South Australia/Sturt)
Date of Birth 03/07/03
Height 177cm
Athletic ruck with terrific natural leap and craft who follows up extremely well at ground level. From Mount Lofty Football Club and already a best and fairest winner at Sturt Football Club last year, she was outstanding in the Championships averaging 17.5 disposals 4.5 marks, 2.5 inside 50s and 20 hitouts. Another member of the NAB AFLW Academy.

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Charlie Rowbottom (Victoria Metro/ Oakleigh Chargers)
Date of Birth 22/01/03
Height 179cm
Powerful midfielder who also goes forward to become a dangerous marking target and goalkicker. Excellent one-on-one player and natural leader no doubt inspired by her brother James who is an AFL star with the Sydney Swans. Averaged 20.5 disposals (11.5 contested possessions) three marks, five tackles and 4.5 clearances against Victoria Country and Western Australia in standout performances. Has emerged from St Kevin’s Old Boys/Loreto FC and is a current member of the NAB AFLW Academy.

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Georgie Prespakis (Victoria Metro/Calder Cannons)
Date of Birth 13/03/03
Height 168cm
Exciting midfielder who excels in the contest at stoppages and kicks with penetration. Strong overhead and an aggressive tackler, she averaged 28 disposals (20 contested) four marks, eight tackles and 8.5 clearances in matches against Victoria Country and WA. She hails from the Sunbury Lions Football with her sister Madison, a current superstar with Carlton, no doubt inspiring her on the journey towards the AFLW. Another current member of the NAB AFL Academy.

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FORWARDS

Jess Doyle (Allies/NSW-ACT/Sydney Swans Academy)
Date of Birth 14/09/03
Height 170cm
Athletic forward who reads the game well and has innate goal sense. A product of the Manly-Warringah Wolves in the Premier Sydney Football league she averaged 17.5 disposals and 4.5 marks to be a consistent and dangerous player up forward for the Allies in the Championships. A member of the NAB AFLW Academy.

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Ella Roberts (Western Australia/Peel Thunder)
Date of Birth 17/12/04
Height 175cm
Exciting forward originally from Busselton Football Club who can also play midfield using her elite skillset and athleticism winning the ball overhead and at ground level. Although not turning 17 years until December 2021 she won WA’s MVP averaging 24 disposals, five marks and three tackles in an outstanding individual performance which also had her winning the Championships' overall best and fairest award. Already a senior premiership player at Peel in 2020 as a 15-year-old, she has all the attributes to be an AFLW star going forward.

Stella Reid (Victoria Metro/Oakleigh Chargers)
Date of Birth 10/09/03
Height 173cm
Left-footed half-forward who can also play on the wing using her running ability and game sense to win the ball. Strong overhead for her size and very dangerous around goals, she excelled in Championships averaging 20 disposals (8.5 contested) and 5.3 marks as well as kicking two goals in matches against Victoria Country and Western Australia. A product of the Kew Comets FC.

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Paige Scott (Victoria Country/GWV Rebels)
Date of Birth 25/06/04
Height 166cm
Powerful forward with speed and strength who turns her opponents inside out with her change of direction. Very dangerous around goal she kicked five goals, six behinds in the two Championship matches to be her side's most important forward averaging 11.5 disposals and 3.5 tackles. Only turned 17 years in June 2021 she has emerged from the Carisbrook Redbacks and is a state cross country representative.

Cynthia Hamilton (Allies/NSW-ACT/ GWS Giants Academy)
Date of Birth 02/04/04
Height 178cm
Highly skilled forward with a sharp competitive edge and capable in midfield where she excels at stoppages. Outstanding for the Allies in both matches averaging 21.5 disposals (13.5 contested) 10 tackles, five inside 50s and kicked two goals despite having just turned 17 and won her team’s MVP award in the Championships. Also plays football for Queanbeyan in the ACT.

Georgia Campbell (Victoria Metro/Eastern Rangers)
Date of Birth 01/09/03
Height 180cm
Exciting key forward/ruck who is athletic and wins the ball in the air and at ground level. Father Adrian played for both Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs so is eligible to sign for either team under the Draft rules. Originally from the Knox Falcons Football Club she also has won the state title in the high jump at Under 16s level confirming her elite natural leap. Averaged 12 disposals (6.5 contested) 2.5 marks in matches against Victoria Country and Western Australia.

INTERCHANGE

Makaela Tuhakaraina (Western Australia/South Fremantle)
Date of Birth 23/08/03
Height 156cm
Explosive small forward from Jandakot Football Club, it is her neat step through traffic which caught the eye in creating opportunities for her team in the Championships. Wins her own ball averaging 14.5 disposals (10.5 contested) and three tackles to be a real livewire for her side. From New Zealand and a newcomer to the game from a rugby and tennis background, she has significant upside with her natural ball sense.

Tahlia Gillard (Victoria Metro/Calder Cannons)
Date of Birth 12/12/03
Height 190cm
Ruck still developing her craft at stoppages and is mobile and very capable overhead. Emerging from the Essendon Douta Stars, she was very prominent in Victoria Metro’s win over Western Australia after also leading her team in the ruck against Victoria Country averaging 12.5 disposals, 15 hitouts and three marks across the two games. Another member of the NAB AFLW Academy.

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Tara Slender (Victoria Country/Bendigo Pioneers)
Date of Birth 11/03/03
Height 175cm
Key forward from Strathfieldsaye Storm who can also play midfield or in defence. A left footer who is strong overhead and athletic, averaged 10 disposals and 2.5 marks in the Championships. A girl not to mess with she also is a seven-time national champion in karate! A current member of the NAB AFLW Academy.

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Zoe Venning (South Australia/West Adelaide)
Date of Birth 4/11/03
Height 168cm
Midfielder who was a stoppage star in the Championships showing cleans hands and composure in setting up the play from midfield averaging 20 disposals and eight tackles against Victoria Country and the Allies to be one of her side's consistent ball winners. Her work ethic and endurance were also assets for this AFLW prospect who has progressed through Blackwood Football Club.

COACH

Melissa Hickey (Victoria Country/Geelong Falcons)
Former AFLW player with Geelong who was coach of the unbeaten Victorian Country Under-19s team.

MVP AWARDS

Allies: Cynthia Hamilton
South Australia: Lauren Young
Queensland: Abby Hewitt
Western Australia: Ella Roberts
Victoria Country: Jaide Anthony
Victoria Metro: TBA

NAB Player of the Championships: Ella Roberts

SELECTORS

Kevin Sheehan (Chair, AFL)
Tarkyn Lockyer (AFL)
Sam Virgo (Queensland/Gold Coast SUNS)
Trent Mosbey (Richmond)
Todd Patterson (Melbourne)
Jess Smith (AFL)

With the final match between Victoria Metro and Queensland unable to proceed, selectors considered Victoria Metro players' performances in the NAB AFLW Challenge match against Victoria Country in March. Queensland players performance were judged from one match played against Victoria Country.