Posted in Front Page News

For the first time in the League’s history, the SMJFL will be sending an Under 16 Girls’ team to represent the League at the AFL Victoria Metropolitan Junior Championships. 

Jo Adams and Jackson Kornberg will be the co-coaches at the helm of the inaugural team, the creation of which is an exciting step forward for the League and girls’ footy in general. 

The coaches are well aware of the task ahead of them – they will be stepping into a competition that has fielded teams who have competed in previous years. In particular last year’s undefeated champions, the Yarra Junior Football League, loom as an imposing rival. 

Instead of being daunted by the prospect of entering an established competition, Adams and Kornberg are excited by the opportunity that has presented itself with the creation of an SMJFL team. 

“Obviously, as it is the first year this has been done we really want to build the foundation of the program and set the standard for the years to come,” said Kornberg. 

The girls will be able to develop their game under Kornberg’s tutelage, as he is experienced in helping players grow and mature from his current position as the U18 Development Coach at the Sandringham Dragons. 

Even before the team has been selected he envisions the squad’s identity as a tough, defensive unit. 

“I haven’t had the luxury of seeing these girls play before… but what I can say is that the SMJFL girls’ team will be known for their defensive pressure, tenacity and competitiveness,” he said. 

In line with the AFL Victoria Youth Girl’s motto, Kornberg also acknowledges that the program won’t be run simply to develop better footballers, he hopes to develop better people throughout the process as well. 

It is a sentiment that is shared by SMJFL’s Director of Female Football Development Bernadette Vaux: “Girls have so much to offer the game of Australian Rules football and it is tremendous that our very talented female players get the opportunity to match skills with girls from other leagues,” she said. 

The 2014 Metropolitan Junior Championships will be held over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.