Peel Thunderbirds trio earn under 18s all-Australian honours

Peel Thunderbirds trio Sabreena Duffy, Kate Bartlett and Courtney Hodder have moved a step closer to their dreams of playing in the AFL Women’s competition after earning all-Australian jerseys at the under 18s national championships.

The young stars were among WA’s best players at the championships, and found their way into the overall top crop on the back of some blinding form.

Duffy said the honour was humbling, and rewarding to share with local teammates.

“It’s always a humble thing to play footy for WA, you don’t really expect to just get all-Australian so that kind of just adds to the experience,” she said.

“To share it with Kate and Courtney was great. It was a really nice way to finish the carnival.”

Sabreena Duffy earned her fourth all-Australian call-up. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Sabreena Duffy earned her fourth all-Australian call-up. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Duffy and Hodder now boast four all-Australian selections, having made it twice as under 16s and twice as under 18s players, while 2017 was Bartlett’s second time making the side.

The trio are eyeing careers in the AFL Women’s, with Bartlett hoping to be drafted this year.

Duffy and Hodder will both reach the draft age in 2018.

In the meantime, they are soaking up lessons from Peel’s very own AFL Women’s players in Demi Okely, Kira Phillips and Tayla Bresland, who played for Fremantle in the competition’s inaugural season.

“I think that’s the goal for all of us, to make the AFL level,” Duffy said.

“The girls who have already been there are great. They’re always helping you out or sending you texts about your games.”

Peel's Kate Bartlett is of age to be drafted this year. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Peel's Kate Bartlett is of age to be drafted this year. Photo: Marta Pascual Juanola.

Duffy, Hodder and Bartlett all made their league debuts with the Thunderbirds this season, and have been in excellent form.

Peel Thunderbirds coach Mark Fenton lauded his three young guns.

“We’re really proud of how they’ve represented WA but especially of how they’ve gone about their footy with us this season,” he said.

“Kate’s had a bag of five, Sabreena’s been one of our absolute best and Courtney could have been the competition’s overall best and fairest if she didn’t miss games for state responsibilities.

“We’re really proud of what they’ve achieved.”

All three will now return to their footy with Peel for the final two games of the year.

Peel will need to win both if they are any chance of making the finals.