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Courtney Accepted to NAB AFL Women’s Academy SquadPosted in Achievements on Friday, 14 February, 2020

Standout young Aussie Rules footballer, Courtney Rowley is one step closer to her dream of playing AFLW professionally, after news that she has been chosen for the 2020 NAB AFL Women’s Academy squad. At only 16 years of age, Courtney is one of the younger girls, out of the 52 players who were selected from every state and territory across the Nation, to attend the personal development camps, which will be held in Melbourne in April. Even more impressively, Courtney is one of just six (6) players chosen from across WA, who were approved for the squad by the AFL.

The NAB AFL Women’s Academy provides talented female footballers aged 16 and 17 with intense training sessions with AFLW Clubs, High Performance training camps, athlete management systems, expert coaches, sports science and access to sports medicine staff. The Women’s Academy squad prepares the young players to be drafted into the AFLW, and for what they need to do to get to that elite level of the sport, with their game skills, body management and professionalism.

Courtney was also recently selected to attend an AFLW training camp, held in Darwin over six (6) days in January, which saw her train with 52 girls across Australia 16-18 years of age.

“The training camp was really good.” Courtney said. “We had a lot of education as well as physical training, so I learnt heaps about myself, the types of foods [AFLW players are eating] and the way you have to be preparing for training and games. Wellbeing was also a key focus and just how to be a better footballer. It was so different to State. Everyone who was there wanted to be there, and they are the best that they can be, they’re just so professional, and that elevated me to want to be the best too.”

“They taught us about being professional and I just feel so much more prepared for training and games and I know how to conduct myself professionally because it was so professional there. I hope to take things I have learned from the AFLW training camp and bring that into my season with Peel Thunder, and hopefully State 18s.”

“[The Training Camp] was one of the best things I have ever done.”

“It’s exciting [to think that I’m one step closer to my dream of playing AFLW], but it makes you realise that it’s not just going to come – you have to work for it.”

Courtney can’t get drafted to the AFLW until the end of next year, when she’s 18. “I’ll get to finish Year 12 first. Hopefully I’ll get invited back to the Academy again next year and get drafted from there.”

School is still has a high priority for Courtney, who has thus far balanced her school workload with her building football training and playing commitments. “It’s been not too bad so far, but when it comes to tests and exams it does get harder. Especially now I’m doing ATAR. When I’m playing State I sometimes leave pretty much after school and don’t get home until 9pm at night.”

“I just take it day by day. Make the most of the time that I have spare. When you’re at school all day, you don’t always want to come home and study. But when I have footy, it’s a really good break – it gets my mind of things. Also, once you train, you feel really good, and that makes you want to study.”

Courtney would be forgiven for being nervous about the high-pressure environment she’s about to walk into, but as usual with Courtney, she exhibits maturity and grace beyond her years. “I’m very excited and happy. It’s a lot of work – it doesn’t stop – but I know that I have to do it if I want to ‘make it’.”

We wish Courtney all the best for the NAB AFL Women’s Academy and look forward to hearing how her 2020 season goes.

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