By David Nagel
Dandenong Stingrays’ stars Mackenzie Eardley and Amber Clarke look set for exciting futures in football after being announced in the 2022 NAB AFLW National Championships U18 Girls All-Australian Team.
The 2022 NAB AFLW National Championships are the highest level of state and territory representative football, as part of the AFL’s Talent Pathway Program, and took place across the country over the past month.
The 2022 NAB AFLW National Championships U18 Girls All-Australian Team was selected with 18 players on the field and six interchange players, with players selected in their best positions.
Eardley was selected at full-back, while Clarke – a product of Narre North Foxes – was selected at half-forward.
Clarke was this year’s league best and fairest winner in the NAB League and was awarded best on ground honours in the Stingrays’ grand final defeat at the hands of the Western Jets.
Clarke averaged over 20 possessions and two goals for the Stingrays this season.
South Australia has eight players in the team after going through the Championships undefeated, as well as the All-Australian coach Tim Weatherald.
Vic Metro head coach Jacara Egan was selected as assistant coach.
All six state MVP winners feature in the All-Australian team, including Alana Gee (Queensland), Zarlie Goldsworthy (Allies), Shineah Goody (South Australia), Montana Ham (Vic Metro), Ella Roberts (Western Australia) and Keeley Skepper (Vic Country). The state MVPs are selected by each team’s coach.
The 2022 NAB AFLW National Championships U18 Girls All-Australian Team was selected by a panel comprising Kevin Sheehan (AFL Talent Ambassador – Chairman), Tarkyn Lockyer (NAB AFL Academy coach), Georgia Harvey (Essendon FC), Trent Mosbey (Richmond FC), Todd Patterson (Melbourne FC), Katrina Gill (Adelaide FC), Anthony Tang (St Kilda FC) and Jess Smith (AFLW Talent and Competition Manager).
AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan congratulated everyone selected in the All-Australian team and said it was deserved recognition for their outstanding performance throughout the 2022 NAB AFLW National Championships U18 Girls.
“Selection in the 2022 NAB AFLW National Championships U18 Girls All-Australian Team is a significant honour and all players selected are thoroughly deserving of their position in the team,” Sheehan said.
“The players selected represent the best young footballers in the country and highlight the quality of talent coming through the national pathway programs.
“We look forward to watching the development of this extremely talented group, many of whom will make the progression into the NAB AFLW competition for the upcoming season.”
Players by team
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: (8) Amelie Borg, Hannah Ewings, Sarah Goodwin, Shineah Goody, Keeley Kustermann, Georgia McKee, Matilda Scholz, Sachi Syme
VIC METRO: (6) Charlotte Baskaran, Laura Elliott, Jasmine Fleming, Montana Ham, Sofia Hurley, Rylie Wilcox
ALLIES: (3) Brooke Barwick (Tasmania), Zarlie Goldsworthy (NSW/ACT), Cynthia Hamilton (NSW/ACT)
VIC COUNTRY: (3) Amber Clarke, Mackenzie Eardley, Keeley Skepper
QUEENSLAND: (2) Alana Gee, Havana Harris
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: (2) Ella Roberts, Lauren Wakfer