Dalby talent shines at Queensland carnival
AUSSIE RULES: The Dalby Swans has been a breeding ground for high level players in the past and it seems the future is just as bright as five up and comers put their skills to the test at the Queensland State Talent Carnival earlier this week.
U14 Swannies Elexis Towers, Matthew Wynd, Breanna Burrowes, Blake Jacobson and Darcie Seng were selected in July to play for the Darling Downs Demons at the carnival held in Maroochydore from September 20-23.
A total of 29 teams from across Queensland played in front of talent scouts vying for their place in the Brisbane Lions Academy, a high performance and development program over the next 12 months.
AFL Queensland regional manager for the Darling Downs Jeff Neumann said the carnival was not about results, but player development.
"It's the first step in our talent pathway to give everyone an opportunity to play at a higher level and develop as a football player and as a person,” he said.
"It's a very exciting time and hopefully we'll get quite a few names from the Darling Downs region and maybe from the Dalby Swans as well.”
The players were also exposed to high performance standards while away, being treated to a live-in camp,
"The metropolitan kids and players get the opport- unity to be around high performance resources all the time so the opportunity for country players to get out and about and get a taste of representative football is very important,” Neumann said.
"We've had a lot of players in the past be state reps from the regional areas and the Dalby Swans has been a bit of a breeding ground ... quite a few Swannies were in the team this year and it's been a bit of a footy factory of years past and you never know we might have the next superstar in this crop of players who just went away.”
Breanna Burrowes said the carnival, which was her first time representing the Darling Downs, was ama- zing. She kicked two goals during the competition.
"I learnt lots in the 10 weeks pre-training and in the camp over the comp- etition ... All the girls in the team were amazing and we made a special bond,” she said.
Dalby's Elexis Towers was named best on ground for two of their three games for her work on the field.
Elexis has played rep football before but said she enjoyed the preview into an academy life.
"It was nice to travel as a team and know what it's like for the professionals, I got to experience that,” she said.
Elexis was sponsored by the Gallery Motor Inn, covering the costs to travel to and take part in the carnival.
"I really appreciate their support ... It's exciting to play women's AFL at this time in history.”