GWV Rebels launch preseason talent search

CODE SWITCH: Maggie Caris, left, played a large role for the Rebels in 2019 after coming to the program from elite netball. Picture: Adam Trafford.
CODE SWITCH: Maggie Caris, left, played a large role for the Rebels in 2019 after coming to the program from elite netball. Picture: Adam Trafford.

The Greater Western Victoria Rebels have once again opened its doors to female athletes looking to make the move to football with its AFL Talent Search Program (TSP).

The TSP searches for women without or with very little football experience who posses strong physical abilities which the Rebel's identify as potential football standouts.

GWV Rebels talent manager Phil Partington told The Courier the TSP is a great way to find potential AFLW stars and said the club had had success with the program over the past few years.

"Girls see football now as a pathway to be a professional athlete in Australia," he said.

"We've had a lot of success with girls like Maggie and Rene Caris and Sophie Van De Heuvel who have been dominant in other sports... now they see there is a talent pathway in AFLW they jump in and get involved and become really good players."

Both Rene Caris and Sophie Van De Heuvel have gone on to play for Geelong in the AFLW after making the switch from elite netball and cricket respectively. Maggie Caris also made the switch from netball, playing with the Rebels in 2019.

Partington said the main thing he and the Rebels are looking for are skills that will translate smoothly to the football field.

"We're just looking skills that will translate well, particularly kicking, marking, running hard and competitiveness. It's hard to judge in one day but really we're looking for the whole package... we want to find AFLW qualities in these girls."

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