Talented young Territory footballer Stephanie Williams has been selected in the 2020 NAB AFL Women’s Academy announced by the AFL this week.
17-year-old Williams was the youngest player in the Central Allies team at the 2019 NAB AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships in July this year and has been part of the NT Thunder Academy program.
She played for the Darwin Buffaloes in the 2018/19 TIO NTFL Under 18s winning premiership team and was awarded the Best on Ground medal in the same game. She also showcased her speed the year prior winning the half time sprint at the 2017/18 Women’s Grand Final.
This is the fourth NAB AFL Women’s Academy intake and largest to date, with 53 players from every state and territory, split into two squads; 17 Level one players – players who are 16 years of age and 35 Level two players – which includes the best 17-year-olds across the country.
Williams has been selected into the Level two squad, which consists of players who will be eligible for the 2020 NAB AFL Women’s Draft.
Academy players will have access to training sessions with AFLW clubs, high performance training camps, athlete management systems and expert coach to provide them the best head start in their football careers.
AFLNT Women’s Academy Manager Heidi Thompson said Williams has the ‘x-factor’ and approaches her football with a positive mind-set and, coupled with her electric speed and agility, makes her an exciting player to watch.
“Steph is a real competitor and regularly creates something out of nothing as a crafty forward close to goals. She can also play as an inside midfielder as she enjoys using her speed to take the game on to get her team moving forward.
“She is absolutely committed to becoming a better footballer and is well equipped to deal with the rigors of an elite environment and I’m so proud that her hard work has paid off and she’s received this opportunity,” Thompson said.