Ararat Storm’s Georgia Clarke has returned after a successful AFL Women’s under-18 championships campaign where Vic Country went undefeated in Queensland last week.
Not only did Clarke play a vital role in the team’s success but she was also named in the All-Australian squad of 52 players off the back of her performances at the championships.
Clarke said the honour was great but the team’s performance was a big success.
“It was great, we were the first Vic Country team to go through undefeated,” she said.
“I had forgotten about how hard it was, especially compared to local footy.”
Vic Country played three games in across the week and had a 10-point win against Queensland, a 27-point win against NSW/ACT, then in the final match they had a 22-point win against Western Australia.
Clarke spent some time at centre half-forward before being moved into the back line in the last two games.
She played at centre half-back and showed some solid skills reminiscent of her mentor Aasta O’Connor who plays the same position for the Western Bulldogs in the AFLW.
We were the first Vic Country team to go through undefeatedGeorgia Clarke
Clarke said it was a good chance to continue to grow her game against a variety of footballers she would not normally come up against.
“Just learnt more about when you are in certain situations, how to use your body and height and to take the game on,” she said.
“As the games went on, I certainly think I did that better.
“It is a big step up, I had not done it since last year and you have to make decisions a lot quicker which is something you have to get used to.”
Clarke was forced to miss the Storm’s game on Sunday but expects to be fit for the round 11 match on Sunday.
“The body was a bit sore after each game and right now I am quite sore now that it is done,” she said.
Clarke has a busy calendar of football ahead of her in the coming months.
“At the moment, Storm will hopefully get another premiership this year then after that, Greater Western Victoria Rebels will kick back in again,” she said.
The 17-year-old will be eligible for the AFLW draft in 2018 and is expected to be one of the players selected with that year set to be an expansion year.