Meet the Indigenous women who will make history when the AFL women’s league kicks off its first season next month.
Eleven Indigenous women sports stars will be among the new league’s players — six of those will play for Fremantle in Western Australia.
Two will line up for the Adelaide Crows, two for the Brisbane Lions and one for the GWS Giants.
Among them is Jasmine Anderson who will continue a family dynasty started by her brothers when she plays for the Adelaide Crows.
The first mother to be signed to the AFL, she is the sister of North Melbourne player Jed and former Carlton player, Joe.
Shaleise Law who will play for the Brisbane Lions is the niece of Olympic running great Cathy Freeman.
Fremantle’s Kirby Bentley, a former netballer from Mt Barker in WA, is tipped as one to watch as are Adelaide Crows’ Tayla Thorn and another Fremantle player Tiah Haynes.
The National Women’s League’s first match will be on February 3 when Collingwood plays Carlton at Olympic Park Oval in Melbourne.
So just who are the new stars?
TAYLA THORN — ADELAIDE
The 18-year old from Alice Springs played in last year’s NAB AFL youth girls’ curtain raiser and cut her teeth playing in the NT Football League.
JASMINE ANDERSON — ADELAIDE
Anderson, 25, has played soccer in the NT for Hellenic for the past three years but is now following in the boot-steps of her footy star brothers.
ALEXANDRA ANDERSON — BRISBANE LIONS
From Queensland, this 20-year-old is said to have excellent kicking skills and to be great around stoppages.
SHALEISE LAW — BRISBANE
A three time All-Australian at youth level, she is described as an exciting, small forward. Her aunt Cathy Freeman is one of Australia’s greatest Olympians.
NATALIE PLANE — CARLTON
Plane, 20, is a shutdown defender who can also play through the midfield.
TAYLAH ANGEL — FREMANTLE
A strong team player, 20-year-old Angel played for the Swan Districts women’s team in WA. She’s said to have explosive speed breaks, a penetrating kick on the run and will kick a sneaky goal from time to time.
KIRBY BENTLEY — FREMANTLE
Co vice-captain for Fremantle, the 30-year old from Mt Barker in WA is described as a raw athlete who reads the play well and has an accurate kick. She won an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship in 2005 for netball and played in the national netball league. Bentley works as a fly-in, fly-out mine worker in WA’s Pilbara.
CASSIE DAVIDSON — FREMANTLE
A versatile back-midfielder who plays to win. The 20-year-old previously played for East Fremantle in WA.
TIAH HAYNES — FREMANTLE
After two knee reconstructions, the 23-year-old midfielder is back in full training.
DEMI OKELY — FREMANTLE
A small but tough player who can hit the field as a rover or a forward. She’s 19.
KIRA PHILLIPS — FREMANTLE
A hard-hitting athletic player with a good leap and marking ability. She turned 21 last year.
CODIE BRIGGS — GWS GIANTS
A 26-year-old who is said to bring a touch of flair to the footy field.
– with afl media