15 September, 2022

Back-to-back premierships

TOOGOOLAWAH State High School student Lily Eggleston’s AFL career may still be in its infancy, but already she has back-to-back premierships to her name.

Toogoolawah-based Lily Eggleston savours premiership success with the Sherwood Magpies in the Under 13 Girls Division 2 Brisbane South competition.
Toogoolawah-based Lily Eggleston savours premiership success with the Sherwood Magpies in the Under 13 Girls Division 2 Brisbane South competition.

The Under 13 Girls Division 2 Brisbane South grand final victory has been one of numerous highlights this year, following last year’s premiership in the same competition and age division.

In the April school holidays, Lily attended a two-day Enhanced Football program where Brisbane Lions AFLW player Belle Dawes was among the coaching staff.

In May, Lily represented Darling Downs in the Queensland School Sport State Championships for AFL girls aged 13 to 15.

During the year, Lily was named best on ground three times for her club team the Sherwood Magpies.

Late last month, Lily played at centre as Sherwood defeated the Victoria Point Sharks 5.9.39 to 0.4.4 in the grand final at Leyshon Park.

Last Friday night, Lily was named best-and-fairest player for her club team. 

The following afternoon, Lily did a victory lap with her teammates and coach at the Gabba, along with other premiership-winning female youth teams from the Brisbane competition.

“It was a very exciting and surreal moment that I will always treasure,” she said.

Also during her time at the Gabba, Lily and the others cheered on the Brisbane Lions during their big win over the Gold Coast Suns in the AFLW contest.

Lily obtained photos and signatures from a number of Lions players after the game finished.

From Monday to Wednesday (September 19-21), Lily will attend the Lions Academy carnival at Maroochydore.

Lily said she hoped to play AFLW some day, but that this was still quite far away while she was not getting ahead of herself.

“I’m going to focus on each season as it comes, focus on improving my skills, and try to make the Lions Academy each year,” she said.

Lily said this year’s premiership was much different from last year’s, when the Magpies squeaked home 1.2.8 to 0.2.2 against the fourth-placed Wests Juniors Maroon.

“It was really unexpected last year to get to the grand final,” she said.

“We finished third on the ladder, and we had a lot of new players.

“What made it special was we were the first female Sherwood team to win a premiership.”

By contrast, the Magpies were runaway minor premiers this year after losing just once, before they again beat the fourth-placed team in the decider.

“When the final siren went, we were all really happy, and to win by a bigger margin than last year,” Lily said.

Lily’s mum Kirsty said there was much more pressure on the team this year while the expectations were higher, following last year’s premiership.

Kirsty said some of the games this year were played in “horrible, wet, muddy conditions”.

Lily said she has a lot of respect for her coach of the past two years, Paul McPhee.

At times when Lily was not at her best, the coach’s words of encouragement from the sideline helped Lily make changes in her game and improve the way she was playing.

Lily kicked 18 goals for the Magpies this year, and played a mixture of midfield, centre ruck rover and halfback.

The Toogoolawah State High School student also played four matches for Sherwood’s U15s when they struggled for numbers due to injuries and Covid.

Lily will progress to U15 level next year, with this age group playing on the full sized field after the U13s played on a smaller sized arena.


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