27 April, 2023

Sunny time for Summer’s AFL pursuits

MORETON Bay Lions junior AFL player Summer Carriage is set to represent the Sunshine Coast at the Queensland School Sport State Championship, held in Springfield from May 25 to 28

By Liam Hauser

St. Columban’s student Summer Carriage will be the youngest player in the U13-15 team as she represents the Sunshine Coast in AFL.
St. Columban’s student Summer Carriage will be the youngest player in the U13-15 team as she represents the Sunshine Coast in AFL.

The St Columban’s year 7 student was selected in the Sunshine Coast regional team through the school representative pathways, firstly making the district team and then trialling and making the Sunshine Coast U13-15 girls regional team.

“I’m the youngest in my team and I’m so excited, proud, and grateful for being selected into this regional team,” Summer said.

“All the girls are so talented and nice. I can’t wait to play alongside them.”

In addition to the Sunshine Coast, teams competing in the state championship will include Metropolitan East, Metropolitan West, Metropolitan North, North West, Wide Bay, Darling Downs, Peninsula, South Coast, South West, Capricornia, and Northern.

The players have the incentive of striving for higher honours, as an U13-15 Queensland team will be chosen after the championship is completed.

Summer, who plays multiple sports, had a bumper year last year as she was selected in 13 representative teams and was named most valuable player (MVP) at the Qschools AFL grand final.

A student in year 6 at Banksia Beach State School last year, Summer made district teams in AFL, soccer, softball, athletics, cross country, touch football and rugby league. She also made Sunshine Coast regional teams in touch football, rugby league and AFL, and also achieved state selection in AFL.

Having twice been selected for the Sunshine Coast AFL regional U12 team, Summer was appointed captain of last year’s team.

Summer said “it was a very tough carnival” and that the best part was that she was subsequently selected for the first ever Queensland U12 girls AFL state team.

This gave the then year 6 student the chance to play with and against the best U12 players in Australia, as the competition took place in Adelaide.

“It was an awesome experience,” she said.

Summer began playing AFL at the age of nine, incidentally after meeting an AFL coach during a touch football carnival.

The AFL coach invited Summer to train with the senior school AFL team, and from the moment she picked up the AFL ball she was hooked. She started to play for the Banksia Beach State School team, and then she joined the Moreton Bay Lions.

“I mainly play in the midfield, it is definitely my favourite position but to be honest I am more than happy to play anywhere on the field,” she said.

“I just love playing footy.

“I love all sports but AFL is my absolute favourite.

“It’s so much fun and I have made so many new friends.”

Summer said her long-term goal was to play in the AFLW, as she wanted to play with and against the best players in Australia.

“I want to mentor, encourage, and inspire other girls to play AFL too because it’s the best sport in the world,” she said.

“But right now, I just really want to play well and learn as much as I can about the game because I love it.”


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