By Ben Pollard
She has played footy with the boys all her life – and quite often beaten them.
But this week, South Melbourne’s Isabel Huntington finally has a chance to show her talents among her female contemporaries.
She’s about to take centre stage at the Under-18 Youth Girls National Championships in Shepparton, which starts tomorrow and runs until Friday.
14-year-old Huntington is the SMJFL’s sole representative in the Vic Metro team.
Vic Metro head coach Paul Groves paid Huntington a big compliment by comparing her style of play to electrifying Melbourne AFL player Jeremy Howe.
“I’ve got no doubt she’s going to take a ‘speccie’ at some stage of the carnival,” he said.
“She’s shown all the athleticism in the world and looks like she’s going to be a really, really good footballer.
“I’m looking to get her to run and carry – she can kick it very well.”
Huntington boasts a strong footballing pedigree, with her brother Lachlan representing the Sandringham Dragons last year.
As such, Groves isn’t surprised she has already had a stellar junior career.
“She has always played with the boys,” he said. “She sent through a player profile to us and her honour roll was amazing for a 14-year-old girl.”
Those honours include best-and-fairest awards for her Under 12 and Under 13 years at South Melbourne, including a League best-and-fairest award for her Under 12 year in 2011.
After two years in Division 3 teams, she is competing in Under 14 Division 2 in 2013 and is also part of the Sandringham Dragons Youth Girls Academy, from which she was selected to represent Vic Metro this week.
The SMJFL wishes Izzy all the best as she and the Vic Metro girls clash with Queensland on Monday, NSW/ACT on Tuesday and SA/NT on Thursday.
For all fixtures and results from the Under-18 Youth Girls National Championships, please visit: http://www.aflcommunityclub.com.au/index.php?id=749.