They carved up in the local league, dominated for the Dogs, but now its time for some of Barossa’s best to step onto the big stage.
Angaston’s Kate Harris, Barossa District’s Piper Riggs and Tanunda’s Caitlin Stafford have been selected to play in an exhibition match curtain-raiser before the AFLW season opener at Norwood Oval, on February 3.
The trio has been invited, with girls from other regional leagues, to be part of the under 18 SA female academy, warming up the crowd before the Adelaide Crows versus Brisbane Lions clash.
All three girls had barely touched a football prior to the inaugural Co-op BLGW season in 2017, but it didn’t show on-field.
Riggs, 15, coming from a basketball and netball background, co-captained the Dogs to the first under 17s premiership and said she’s fallen in love with the sport.
“I learned a lot about teamwork and backing each other up – I tried my hardest and always put all my effort in,” she said.
“If I had to chose between netball and footy, footy would win.”
Meanwhile, netballer Harris, 16, was best on ground in her first ever game at the Central Zone Female Football Carnival, last year.
The defender was also runner up for Angaston’s best and fairest award, and named among the best in each game she played in during the SANFL Talent Shield.
“It was just good to get out there and have a bit of fun,” Harris said.
“I just played the best I could and I’m glad I did.”
Stafford, 15, claimed the Tanunda under-17 best and fairest award, despite coming from a basketball background, and said she loved finally giving footy a go.
She added she was thrilled to hear she’d been selected to play in the exhibition match.
“It’s quite an honour – it’s a bit scary because there will be a lot of good girls out there, but it should be a good experience,” Stafford said.
Harris said she was “stoked” to be picked for the SANFL Talent Shield, saying she couldn’t believe she was picked against “so many other good girls.”
“I wasn’t thinking I was that good,” she said.
Riggs agreed, adding she was shocked to hear she would be playing ahead of the Crows AFLW side.
“My mum told me and I just said ‘you’re joking,’” she said. “It’s going to be a good experience – I’ll probably be nervous as.”
Meanwhile, the BLGW is hosting three come and try sessions for the upcoming season – for more information head to sanfl.com.au/comeandtry.