Tarni Evans said it was the “best feeling” to be named in the All Australian AFL squad at the under 15s nationals.
The Year 9 SCAC student said she was shocked to be included the honorary side, but it was awesome to feature during the closing ceremony of the week-long event in Perth.
The NSW contingent finished runner-up to the Victorian team after a gruelling grand final loss, where Tarni said the southerners were just too strong.
However, Tarni got the chance to roam. “I loved the chance to move around [positions] centre half-forward was great and they put me in the back for a while as well,” Tarni beams.
She favoured the front-line role as it was near the middle, but also offered more chance to rush forward and take shots on goal.
“Against victoria it was hard to score because they were just so good, but I got the chance to kick a couple of goals against Queensland and I got one against the Northern Territory.
“But one of the best games was winning against WA, afterwards everyone was just freaking out with excitement, it was pretty awesome,” she adds with a laugh.
She has plenty of experience competing on a national level through athletics, but said the team aspect was one of her favourite parts of the trip and meeting players from the other states.
“Being part of the team was the best experience because you’ve got mates for life, the girls were absolute legends and it was so fun to go through that experience with them,” Tarni said.
“I knew one of the girls from the ACT through athletics, but it was great to meet some of the players from the other states.
“We went on an excursion to see the Fremantle jail while we were over there and catch up with some of the teams.”
One of the favourite parts for Tarni has always been the closing ceremony, which she said this year was even more special with her selection.
There is a tradition among the entrants to trade and collect each other’s uniforms and this year was no exception.
“I gave some of my socks to a Queensland boy and got his, and I got a Northern Territory polo, those girls were so nice,” Tarni says.
Her goal now is to focus on local competition, with her home team at Tathra leading the draw and just two rounds left to play.
But she’ll then look to stay in local competition and finish her schooling before trying to join an AFL development camp.
“I’ll focus on finishing school, but I would love to be a part of the [AFL] women’s comp, it would be so fun to get there, but I’ll see how I go,” she said.