These boots were made for Walker

Former Dandenong Stingrays Youth Girls Academy captain Georgia Walker will get to live out her dream of playing at the elite level after replacing injured star Kendra Heil on Collingwood’s AFL Women's list.

For the 2016 Victoria Country Youth Girls captain, the opportunity to play Australian Football at the elite level has been a long-time dream.

Having been overlooked in October’s AFLW Draft, Walker thought her dream of playing in the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s Competition was over, until a recent phone call from Collingwood women’s coach Wayne Siekman changed her plans for February.

The Pies’ AFLW coach had watched Walker star against his side in a practice match and wasted little time offering her a place on Collingwood’s 2017 list as a replacement player for Heil.

The Canadian export was ruled out of the inaugural competition following an ACL injury in November, making Walker the youngest player in the Pies’ 27-man squad after turning 18 earlier this month.

She said she was thrilled to be picked up by an AFL club.

“It’s such a shock to be selected... I’m absolutely honoured and I can’t wait to get started,” Walker told Collingwood Media.

“I will go in and train hard and earn my spot in the team and the respect of my new teammates.”

Playing community football with the Rye Football Club, Walker has come through the newly-developed AFL Victoria female player pathway, having played in the inaugural Youth Girls Academy Challenge for the Stingrays in March.

Selected to represent and captain Vic Country in the National Youth Girls Championships in May, Walker earned some senior match experience in the Swisse VFL Women’s playing a handful of games with Seaford before refining her skills in this year’s AFL Victoria Women’s Academy.

Getting a first-hand look at Walker’s talent as the Vic Metro Youth Girls coach, Siekman said the midfielder/defender used the disappointment of missing out on October’s draft as a key motivator to improve her game.

“We were always impressed by Georgia’s ability and you can see how missing an opportunity earlier in the year has motivated her to keep improving on and off the field,” Siekman told Collingwood Media.

“Georgia has leadership skills beyond her years and was highly rated by AFL Victoria Female Talent Manager Darren Flanigan. It’s a real credit to her trainers at the Victorian Women’s Academy.”

The inaugural AFL Women’s league will commence on Friday February 3 with a clash between Collingwood and Carlton.

* CLICK HERE for more information on AFL Victoria’s Female High Performance programs.


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