AFLNT is proud of 17-year-old Danielle Ponter, following her selection for the inaugural NAB AFL Women's National Academy (Level 1).

Ponter, the niece of Michael Long, comes from a strong lineage of Australian football greats and is an all-round sports enthusiast, with skill in every sport she tries her hand at. 

Since debuting for NTFL club St Mary's as an 11-year-old in the 2011/12 season, she has won the Sharyn Smith Medal, which recognises the best and fairest player in the Youth Girls division, every season. 

Last year she was awarded the U18 Girls best and fairest league medal and has so far played 10 games in the same division this season.
Ponter has also represented the NT on 11 occasions at the National Under-18 Girls Championships.

It was off the back of her impressive performance in the 2016 edition that she received National Academy selection.

This week she is at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra for the first of the NAB AFL Women's National Academy camps.

The seven-day camp includes combine testing, skill sessions, mentoring, a tour of the Australian Defence Force facilities and match-play.
AFLNT High Performance Manager, Wally Gallio said Ponter had done the hard work to earn her spot.

"Danielle's past two years at National Under-18 level, combined with her ongoing development at St Mary's has shown just how talented and driven she can be.

"She has fantastic game sense, and has made a name for herself as a hard running, long kicking midfielder that has grown her game on winning contested ball and using it with precision by foot and hand," Gallio said.

NAB AFL Academy National Head Coach Luke Power said the NAB AFL Women's National Academy is the first element of new development initiatives that will support female football.

"Women's football participation numbers have been steadily climbing over the past five years to now represent a quarter of all Australian Football participants, and the AFL is committed to supporting the elite players reach the highest level - place on an AFLW list," Mr Power said.

"The NAB AFL Women's National Academy players will enjoy the same number of contact hours, insight and expert coaching the men's program does, including time with AFL clubs.
"I look forward to seeing the players' development throughout the year."

Academy players to have access to

  • Training with AFL Clubs (which occurred in November and December 2016)
  • High Performance training camps in January and April
  • Athlete management systems
  • Expert AFL coaches, sports science and sports medicine staff