By Mark Perriman
Queensland’s finest youth talent comes to town from October 24th as Brisbane plays host to the AFL Queensland Youth Girls State Championships.
With the cream of the state’s U17 crop on show, South Brisbane coach Daniel Selby is confident the Vixens can keep the crown in Brisbane..
“The girls have been going really well,” said Selby.
“They’ve really taken on board all the structural programs we’ve put in place.”
The fourth-year coach says competition for spots was a fierce as ever with the three-time defending champions.
“Of the 23 we had 60 girls to choose from,” said Selby.
“It’s always been a fairly competitive side, but I guess some girls have surprised us this year and taken everything in their stride and pushed to really cemented their spot.”
As for South Brisbane’s success, broad recruitment has netted the fourth-year coach a healthy stock of quality talent.
“We talk to schools, junior clubs, and general contacts within the football community,” said Selby.
“We also ask if the girls can bring down anybody who might be interested,” said Selby.
In terms of experience, South Brisbane has a history providing fertile talent pathways.
“We’ve developed some girls to go on and play at the National Championships, as well as the AFL Exhibition Draft Match,” said Selby.
“This year some girls have also gone onto play some Queensland State League Women’s footy and have some success in winning the premiership with Coorparoo Roos.”
Talent generally runs deep in teams with such programs, and Selby believes current Vixens Jade Ransfield and Rachel Milnes are capable of taking the next step.
“Jade is a halfback run-and-carry type of player, with excellent kicking skills (both feet) and excellent below her knees,” said Selby.
“Rachel on the other hand is very strong overhead, has great skills, and loves to take the game on.”
But development aside, Selby’s pragmatic approach is also key to his side’s success.
“We explain from the outset that we’ll work to provide them with the best development possible,” said Selby.
“We want them to get a taste of elite programs, to push them in the right direction so they can progress as players.”
As for their chances, Daniel remains quietly confident.
“I’d like to think we are a pretty good chance,” said Selby.
“But there are a lot of other teams out there that we haven’t seen and you never know what they have unearthed.”