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Already established as the leading code in Australia, AFL is set to become even bigger, with its first national women’s league kicking off in 2017.
Consisting of eight teams, the competition will showcase talent from all over the country, including Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.
Maddie Boyd, Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science student at Deakin, and newly drafted Melbourne Demons player, says she is very much looking forward to being a part of it.
‘It’s such an exciting time for not only women in footy, but women in sport in general.
‘It was a historic day yesterday, being drafted for the competition, and I look forward to what’s ahead,’ she says.
Maddie discovered her passion for AFL while watching a game at former Kardinia Park in Geelong. She was so fascinated by the sport that she asked her father to buy her a footy and hasn’t stopped kicking it since.
In fact, she went on to become one of the premier players in the VFL Women’s competition in Geelong and first drew the Melbourne Demon’s attention when participating in exhibition matches, to promote the new competition, earlier this year.
‘Footy has always been my constant. I played it growing up, and ever since finding out about the national league I have tried my hardest to work towards being drafted.
‘So, for it to happen is just amazing!’
The new league will afford female athletes unprecedented access to elite facilities for the first time. Maddie explains that although as a sports person you always do your best in the training department, having these new resources at her fingertips will be nothing short of incredible.
‘I look forward to utilising the incredible resources the AFL has on offer and also to learn from other fellow players.
‘I was lucky enough to be drafted alongside two other team mates from Geelong and to continue playing and developing with them at the highest level is pretty awesome,’ she says.
Even though she does not yet know in what position she will play, Maddie is certain that it’s exciting times ahead. And, while focusing on her brand new AFL career will be at the forefront of her efforts, she is also determined to continue her degree at Deakin.
‘Because it’s a new adventure and I have never been in this position before I don’t know what to expect. But, I will take it as it comes and with Deakin’s support for athletes, as well as staying organised I am sure it is possible.’
We wish Maddie the best of luck for the upcoming season and hope you follow her journey on our blog.