Mount St Joseph Milperra students will compete in the opens category of the AFL Giants Cup state final after blitzing the Sydney competition.
The team of about 20 students won 21 – 0 against Castle Hill High School in the final Sydney qualifying match after defeating St Pius X of Chatswood’s team in the semi-final.
About 80 per cent of the mixed-grade team played the sport for the first time this year, and only three play AFL outside school. Team members from Years 8 to 11 first played AFL at school as a grade sport option, and rarely trained together before securing their impressive win.
Most girls who have tried AFL have fallen in love with it.
Year 11 student Bronte Mannering injured her foot in an AFL game outside of school but will support the team from the sidelines at the state final on 20 June.
“I think we were a bit surprised at winning [the qualifier] because the year before, we were beaten quite convincingly by the team we beat in the final,” she said. “It’s quite exciting. As a school team we’ve never played in a state final so I’m looking forward to it, even though I can’t play.”
Bronte, a netball player, discovered a love of AFL after watching her brother play the sport and joining school and outside competitions.
“It’s explores more skills than a lot of other sports,” she said. “Most girls who have tried AFL have fallen in love with it. I think it takes away from the male-dominated aspect of the sport and gives that free range to have a go and try something new.”