Congratulations to Daisy Robinson (Year 10) who represented Victoria in the ‘School Sport Australia’ National U15 AFL Championships that were contested in Ballarat from the 22nd to the 29th of July, 2023.
These were a very special championships indeed, as 2023 marked 100 years since the first Australian Schools Football Carnival was played between the various state teams in Melbourne a century ago. Daisy and her Victorian team mates competed in a number of hard fought round robin matches against representative teams from South Australia, the ACT and New South Wales. They then moved into the semi-finals of the tournament and came up against a very strong outfit from Tasmania, who ran out winners on the day. Team Vic then played Western Australia in a cross-over final on the last day of the championships, which produced another thrilling contest that was played in the correct spirit of the game.
Daisy’s coaches were very impressed with her preparation, professionalism, positivity, pressure and play throughout the week long championships. She competed strongly across the half-forward line in the opening two matches, clunking numerous overhead marks in contested situations and out on the lead. Daisy’s penetrating kicks then set-up four of her side’s goals in these opening matches, as she was able to hit targets cleanly inside 50. Her forward 50 pressure was also fantastic, as she tackled tirelessly and laid some ferocious bumps to clear space for her team mates. Daisy’s attack on the footy and selfless defensive acts were both noticed and valued by her coaches, as they asked her to then shift into the centre half back position for the following three games.
Although she usually plays in the ruck or up forward for both club and school footy, Daisy accepted the challenge and relished her new role down back. Her marking and spoiling were elevated to a new level, as she timed her run and leap perfectly to shut down multiple opposition entries. At different stages of these matches Daisy was tasked with specific tagging roles on dangerous small forwards, whom she also frustrated with her close checking and tenacious tackling. Daisy’s defensive efforts against Tasmania in the semi-final were acknowledged by the All Australian selectors, who awarded her 3 votes for being one of the best players on the ground. Her coach even commented that Daisy reminded him of Darcy Moore, controlling the air and marshalling the troops across the Victorian defensive lines in the final three games of the tournament.
Daisy certainly proved that she can compete with the finest U15 female footy players in our nation, but more importantly demonstrated exemplary fairness and respect toward all of her fellow players, coaches, umpires and spectators throughout the championships. The friendships and memorable moments that Daisy created with her Victorian team mates during the carnival will last a lifetime as marvellous memories for all to recall and reminisce about. Daisy represented herself, our school and her state so very well throughout the entire national championships and we are all very proud of her superb sporting achievements. We look forward to following Daisy’s football journey long into the future and can’t wait to see her one day play in the AFLW…..hopefully for her beloved Magpies!