CHOSEN: Grafton AFL player Georgia Breward.
CHOSEN: Grafton AFL player Georgia Breward. Debrah Novak

Breward earns call up to national AFL squad

AUSSIE RULES: Every time a roadblock is put in front of her, Lawrence teenager Georgia Breward is keen to put her boot through it.

It is the thrill of the challenge that the Grafton Tigers AFL junior loves and that is what has kept her striving to reach her AFL dreams.

After another successful tilt at the Under-18 National titles for the NSW/ACT side, she is now ready to stare down her next challenge - and easily the biggest yet - representing her country on one of AFL's biggest occasions.

Breward was named in the NAB AFL Women's Under-18 All Australian squad following the national championships which wrapped up last week.

"It was a bit of a shock, but I am really happy. I just didn't expect it, there was a lot of skill on show at the titles so I was not expecting this," she said.

"I am really honoured to be recognised. I was happy with the way I played, I just tried to be as consistent as possible and did what the coaches asked."

Breward has gone from strength to strength this year since joining Coolangatta Tweed AFL Women's team in the Queensland metropolitan competition. A regular in the 'Cooly' midfield, it was a bit of a shock when selectors asked her to play in the defensive line for NSW/ACT.

"I think they just wanted someone to be able to run out of the backline, they were trying to utilise my speed," she said. "It was hard but it was a good challenge, I quite enjoy getting in the backline. To be honest I like playing football so I am happy to play anywhere on the field.

"I just think to me it is the greatest sport in Australia, and at the moment it is a really exciting time to play football for girls."

The All Australian squad of 54 will be split in two and play a curtain-raiser to the NAB AFL Women's State of Origin match during the AFL 'Celebration of Football' weekend at the end of the AFL season.

An under-18 All Australian team will be named after the game.

For AFL North Coast operations co-ordinator Paul Taylor, the news of Breward's selection was music to the ears.

"Georgia and her family make a huge commitment (with travel and time) so this recognition is hard-earned and thoroughly deserved," Taylor said.

"Whilst Georgia is still a year too young to nominate for the AFL Women's draft, being a member of the All Australian squad will put her in the shop window for the AFLW clubs.

"They will definitely be marking her name down as one to watch over the coming year."

With three women's matches already staged involving a North Coast women's team, and further matches planned for July and September, the prospect of starting a competition for women in the region in 2018 is extremely high.

This includes the prospect of a Grafton Tigers women's team as well as the existing youth girls team so the call is going out to any girls or women with an interest in playing AFL to get in touch with their local club.

For more information contact Grafton Women's AFL Champion Laura Connell on 0452605293.

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