Sunshine Coast’s Sunfire star

With two Youth Girls competitions kicking off on the Sunshine Coast this season, you cannot help but to reflect on how far Youth Girls footy has come.

While it is great to admire the two amazing competitions that have now been formed it is astounding to discover the amount of females on the Sunshine Coast who not only play the glorious game but dominate!

Cue- Rachael Anstey.

Seeing Anstey run around the AFL9s field at Kawana Park a few seasons back was the first time a lot of people had seen a female not only play footy, but play footy at a very high standard.

Chatting to Anstey on numerous occasions since the AFL9s encounter quickly uncovered that not only was she a ‘gun’ on the 9s field but a dead-set legend in the Women’s State League.

Anstey has been playing footy since 2004 and while all of her footy has been played down Brisbane way, here on the Sunshine Coast, we are happy to call her our own.

“I started playing footy in 2004 for inter-school sport for the Narangba Valley Vipers which is the Narangba Valley State High School team,” Anstey said.

“I started playing with the Zillmere Eagles in 2008 and have been playing there ever since and love every minute of it.”

Anstey has an impressive résumé on and off the field.

Off the field Anstey makes a living as a Radiographer at Caloundra Hospital on the Coast and is still furthering her education now undertaking a Post Graduate Certificate in MRI.

On the field her first state cap came in 2006 when she was selected in the inaugural South-East Queensland Under 16s Girls AFL Team, the Flames.

From those championships Anstey caught the selectors’ eye and was named in the Queensland team.

“Being involved in the Flames inaugural team was a great experience and it is awesome to see how far girls footy have come in seven years,” Anstey said.

Last season the Zillmere Eagles made the grand final but lost to the Yeronga Demons.

This season Anstey and the Eagles are striving to go one better and hold the premiership cup on that awesome day in September.

They are well on the way to achieving that winning their first three games of the season with great pre-season form, but their biggest test will be round five on May 18 when they come up against the Yeronga Demons.

“It will be a great game(against Yeronga) and my Brisbane Lions will be taking on Essendon that weekend too so hopefully we can come away with the double- as Eagles and Lions victory,” Anstey said.

As a Brisbane Lions supporter Anstey has a huge respect for Jonathon Brown and comparatively she aims to mirror his courage and leadership as a key position player on the field playing full forward, centre half forward and dabbling in ruck and ruck rover.

The courage and leadership is just the thing that has seen Anstey this year selected in the 2013 Queensland Women’s Sunfire Squad.

Sunfire selector and former Sunshine Coaster, Richie Lyons, said the Anstey was impressive on a number of levels.

“Rach is a tall key position player who possesses great athletic qualities,” Lyons said.

“Her ability to provide a target and to find the football throughout the carnival was very impressive.”

The Women’s Sunfire Squad was selected from the recent Women’s State Championships which was this year won by South-East Queensland South- Anstey captained South-East Queensland North.

“I played for South-East Queensland North in the state championships and was named captain which was pretty cool,” Anstey said

 “All of the games we played during the championships were high intensity games that were fast and really physical, which was great to be a part of.”

No doubt there will be plenty more Anstey AFL highlights to report on throughout the year as she continues to grow and dominate in the Women’s AFL arena.

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