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Match Preview: Women's Exhibition Game

For 50 of Queensland’s best female footballers, an historic match on the Gabba awaits this Saturday, when they line-up as the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS in a curtain closer to QClash 11.

Teams are made up of players from Queensland’s State Women’s Academy, with the game being Queensland’s first match in the AFL’s 10-game exhibition series for 2016.

And with the highly anticipated AFL National Women’s Competition scheduled to start next year, the match gives Queensland’s most talented females a chance to prove themselves on the big stage.

Both teams are overflowing with diverse talent, including players who have crossed over from soccer, cricket and touch to play in the clash.

Also featured are eight athletes who have played in the AFL’s women’s exhibition matches, including local superstar Tayla Harris, known for her high leap and explosive kick, and some talented youngsters from the Under 18 Queensland Youth Girls Team.

 

The game will deliver some intriguing match-ups, with QWAFL Best and Fairest winner and Brisbane Lions captain, Emma Zielke set to line up against Gold Coast SUNS duo, Emily Bates and Jordan Zanchetta, in the midfield.

Another key battle will see current Canberra United W-League Soccer player, Jenna McCormick and Gold Coast’s Hannah Sexton meet in a faced paced contest on the wing.

Like Brother Alex, set to play before her in QClash11, Sexton will line up in the SUNS number six Guernsey.

AFL Queensland Female High Performance Manager, Craig Starcevich said the game was also a chance to showcase what Australian Football had to offer female athletes.

“It’s obviously a great opportunity for our girls to display their talent, but we hope it will also inspire athletes from other sports to want to be involved in the game,” said Starcevich.

“The match gives everyone the chance to see the type of player that will be representing the Queensland based team in the 2017.

“We have an incredibly diverse range of talent, from our talls – Tayla Harris and Tahlia Randall – to someone like Shaleise law who brings a really explosive x-factor to the game.”

Brisbane Lions Captain Zielke said she is ecstatic to represent her local team, particularly with the match falling under AFL Queensland’s 150-year celebrations.

“Despite there being more pressure, it’s exciting that we have a new motivation when playing in this massive game,” Zielke said.

The two-time QWAFL Best and Fairest Winner said that for the first time ever, the Queensland girls are driven by the idea that next year they could be on an AFL list.

“We have been given such a good opportunity to really make a name for ourselves going into next year’s national women’s competition, and that’s something we all want to grab with both hands.”

Following Saturday’s match, a Queensland representative team will be selected to take on Melbourne at the MCG on May 22.

The curtain-closer kicks off at the Gabba at 8:00pm, after kick-to-kick (AEST).

Follow @AFLQFemaleFooty on Twitter, for live updates throughout the match.

The game will be broadcast via AFL Website live stream at afl.com.au/womens

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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs