Pittwater and Forest Junior AFL clubs are to field a composite team, the Northern Phoenix, for the Under 18 (U18) Youth Girls competition in the upcoming 2016 season, to ensure sufficient numbers and depth of ability to be competitive.
This combined team, between two junior AFL clubs that are of a similar size, culture and values, is recognised as the correct approach for the next few years until Youth Girls football is more fully established across our part of Sydney and NSW as a whole.
The Northern Phoenix team provides a great recruitment opportunity for girls playing AFL in our part of Sydney, an area known for producing a lot of elite athletes, surf lifesavers, touch footballers, netballers and soon hopefully, AFL players.
This combined team will help grow the code and participation of girls playing AFL in the Northern Beaches and Forest regions of Sydney. This includes those wanting to try AFL for the first time or those that have played mixed AFL at younger ages and/or U14 Youth Girls and want to know what might be next if they decide to stick with AFL as a chosen sport.
The Northern Phoenix will also establish a clear pathway for girls to play AFL, something made even more exciting with the AFL recently announcing the launch of the first ever Female AFL Academies in the NSW/ACT region. This gives “200 females the opportunity to hone their skills ahead of a National Female competition in 2017”. Former Sydney Swans player, Tim Schmidt, has been appointed to head the program as NSW/ACT Female Football High Performance.
•comprised of two age groups – Youth Girls (between 14-18) and Womens (over 18)
•based at four venues – Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Sydney and Newcastle, and
•modelled on the existing Sydney Swans and GWS Giants academies, with venues and facilities shared where possible.
Assistant Coach for the Pittwater U14 Youth Girls in 2015. Tony has been active in coaching and administrative roles at both Forest and Pittwater Junior AFL Clubs since 2009. He was Assistant Coach of a Development Team at the 2015 U17 Youth Girls State Carnival in Bateau Bay on the NSW Central Coast.
Coach of the Pittwater U14 Youth Girls team in 2015 and 2016.
After attempts to find a combined playing strip that worked, a "blank sheet of paper" approach was taken to the name, design and colour scheme.
The Northern Phoenix name and the jersey design rose from this process. The team colours are proposed to be Orange, Purple and White with the playing uniform design as per attached.
This complete concept was done by a core of players that will make up the U18 team in 2016. The outcome impressed the parents and the AFL!
Interested players need to register at either Forest (www.forestafl.com.au) or Pittwater (www.pittwaterafl.com.au) Junior AFL club, choosing the one they feel closest to. The clubs will arrange a recognised permit to play with the Northern Phoenix in 2016. Registrations are currently open at both Clubs.
Social “Fun and Fitness” sessions have started at Warriewood Beach for all girls interested with parents and siblings most welcome.
Regular trainings are expected to be Wednesday evenings at Pittwater’s home ground at North Narrabeen Reserve, Walsh Street, Narrabeen
Any offer to help promote the new team amongst your existing school, sporting and social networks is most welcome.
For more information, contact Tony Eyres on 0429 069 072 or Matt Byrne on 0413 690 837.