Burnie pair handed shot with Kangaroos

READY: Burnie Dockers pair Lauren Stevenson and Meagan Kiely will play for North Melbourne women’s side on Sunday. Picture: Brodie Weeding. Two of the Coast’s up and coming stars ofwomen’s footballhave been handed an opportunity to play at the highest level.

Burnie Dockers pair Meagan Kiely and Lauren Stevenson are among 10 Tasmanians selected to play for North Melbourne’s women’s side this Sunday afternoon.

The Tasmanian contingent were selected out of two talent searches at either end of the state in early February with the remainder of the squadmade up of players from VFL women’s Melbourne University Football Club.

The side will face reigning VFL Women’s premiers Darebin as part of a double-header at Arden Street on Sunday following North Melbourne’s JLT Series match against Hawthorn.

Kiely, 22, was part of the Burnie Dockers TWL premiership side last season while Stevenson, 17,has joined the Dockers this year from the Mersey Leven Power.

Kiely said the level at selection trial earlier this month was a real eye opener.

“To seesee what would be expected of us as players if we wanted to further our football,” Kiely said.

She said to team up with players from Melbourne University would give the Tasmanian group some confidence and it was great North Melbourne were looking to Tasmania for talent.

“We’re ecstatic that North Melbourne have decided to include 10 Tasmanian’s in their squad.

“It’s going to give the Tassie girls something to aspire to in years to come and hopefully further grow participation in female footy across the state.”

Kiely highlighted how excited the pair were to play at the highest level and have the opportunity to compete at the same level as AFL Women’s draftees Emma Humphries, Ellyse Gamble and Brittany Gibson.

“The AFLW has provided a benchmark of what is required for all aspiring players and has given us the drive to push ourselves and see if we can make it to that next level.

“I think people have been surprised so far by the skill level that’s been showcased as well as the physicality and unpredictability of the game when watching AFLW matches.

“It’s going to be a challenge to play such a fast-paced style of footy with only 16 players on the field.

“We’re going to learn a lot from the experience which we’ll then be able to bring back to Tasmania.”

The game will begin at Arden Streetthis Sunday from 4.45pm.

The eight other Tasmanian players include Loveth Ochayi,Nicole Bresnehan,Hannah Squires,Daria Bannister,Courtney Stanley,Maggie Cuthberston,Danika Corcoran andGeorgia Hill.

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