The Queensland Women’s Academy traveled to football heartland over the weekend for two games against the Victorian Women’s Academy.
Jetting off from Brisbane Friday morning for a Friday night game, the squad took to Western Bulldogs’ Whitten Oval to play a group of the Victorian Women’s Academy, which has over 100 members.
Chilly conditions, storms throughout the day and a howling breeze definitely favoured the locals, who just prevailed in a tight tussle.
The Queensland team controlled the majority of the game, especially through the middle, but Victoria were able to convert slightly better on their forward 50 entries.
When the sun came up on Saturday morning, the focus switched to recovery and education.
The squad arrived at Punt Road Oval at 9am to join the Victorian Academy in a recovery session.
Following that, ex-Australian Netball Captain, Sharelle McMahon, spoke to the group about work life balance, personal brand, taking opportunities and performing in an elite environment.
The AFL Players association also spoke about the upcoming National Women’s League, and AFL Victoria held a presentation on social media for both groups.
Sunday was game day, and thankfully the sun was shining.
Up against a Victorian Academy team made up of 12 exhibition players compared to Queensland’s travelling squad of three, the task was always going to be difficult.
Emma Zielke and Emily Bates were excellent through the middle, and Jade Ransfield was a handful across half-forward, but the Victorians were better in the arc, which was where the contest was decided.
Queensland Female High Performance Manager Craig Starcevich said the group took a lot from the trip.
“The weekend was a really valuable learning experience, on and off the field for the team,’ Starcevich said.
“We weren’t at full strength, our selection process was based on rewarding those players who have dedicated the most time to the Academy over summer, but that stands us in good stead for the future.
“Giving these players this exposure will deepen our talent pool, and also help continue to increase the standard of football played in the QWAFL.”
Attention for the Women’s Academy now turns to their curtain closer game at QClash11 at Gabba on April 16.
By Andrew Wiles