Youth girls seal dominant carnival with grand final win

The Sapphire Coast AFL has enjoyed a successful junior representative carnival in Nowra over the weekend, with three of its four sides making the grand final.

The youth girls were the stars, going undefeated on their way to a grand final victory over Central West, while the under 13s and under 15s both lost to Illawarra in the final.

AFL Sapphire Coast’s football operations coordinator Jarrod Moore said the results were a great sign for the future of the competition.

“At the moment we’ve got a lot of young talented kids coming through the juniors, and I’m really proud of the way they played on the weekend,” he said. “The challenge around here is trying to keep a hold of them.”

Moore said there were a number of standouts throughout the weekend.

“Tarni Evans was fantastic for the youth girls,” he said. “She’s obviously played under 16s state footy, and she really excelled over the weekend.

“Angelita Hochkins from Bermagui played a really solid grand final, she was probably our best in that game. Girls like Jorja Moore and Zalie Betts also had outstanding carnivals.

“In the under 13s, Campbell Moresi from Bermagui had a really good carnival, he stood out across the four games. Elijah Turner-Collins from Broulee Moruya always seems to turn it on for rep rounds.

“Narooma’s Tommy Hodge was the best for the 15s. He got in and under, and won plenty of the ball.

“In the 17s, Jack Hirst from Broulee Moruya was the pick of the weekend. He’s a relatively new player, but he had a really great carnival off half back.”

Sapphire Coast’s youth girls side was the only side to break Illawarra’s dominance, a testament to the strong women’s competition in the SCAFL.

“It just goes to show getting on the front foot three or four years ago with the women’s comp has really paid off in spades,” Moore said. “South Coast and Illawarra only started their competitions this year, and the extra two or three years has allowed our girls to get ahead of the curve.

“I’m really proud of the club’s in embracing it earlier than other regions. Most of the clubs are in traditional country football areas where girls weren’t meant to play footy, but they’ve embraced it, and they’ve come along in leaps and bounds.”

Moore said the weekend couldn’t have happened without the support of the families involved.

“Thanks to the parents and players for putting their hands up, and the coaches and support staff who did a great job throughout the weekend,” he said. “We didn’t have any issues with parents or coaches, so they did a fantastic job in leading their teams to a great weekend.”