Under-12s over-achieving at Q Schools AFL Cup
AFL: The Walkervale under-12 girls AFL team has qualified for the state grand final, the first Bundaberg or Wide Bay school to do so in the Q Schools Cup.
The win by Walkervale comes after defeating Deception Bay 27-9 in the qualifying finals grand final last Wednesday.
HPE teacher Simon Kelly coached the team this far and said it was fantastic to see a country team from a country school make it this far in the competition.
"Our school has been in this competition for five years,” Kelly said.
Kelly said the pressure wouldn't ease up after the girls' win however, he stated that most of the schools the team would face in the state finals likely had integrated AFL programs in their curriculums.
Kelly said the girls shouldn't give up hope though, and said they had been the toughest of teams.
"They just need to keep doing what they're doing,” Kelly said.
Not that the girls are entirely without help, being coached once a week by Shaun Stone, a development coordinator from AFL Queensland.
Stone said AFL Queensland was happy to help the girls achieve as highly as they have.
The training he started was initially very basic, but has become more complex as time has gone on and the team has become more comfortable with their skills.
"They played some good footy, that's a really big effort,” Stone said.
While the team had been playing together for a few years before Stone became involved in their training, he said they had improved noticeably over this year.
Kelly said he looked at the roster and expected Walkervale to face off against Hillcrest Christian College, based out of the Gold Coast.
If the team makes it through that match, Kelly said the team to beat this year was Stella Maris Primary.
Win or lose, Kelly said, the team had already had quite a successful year and made Walkervale proud.