GIANTS Female Academy coach Georgia Walker says this year’s crop of under-16 talent is the best she’s seen at the Academy in years after her side took home the national title for their division.

Alongside the Sydney Swans Academy, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory in Pool B, the GIANTS defeated Tasmania by 32 points in their opening match in Sydney before smashing the Northern Territory by 44 points in their second of two games.

Finishing as the only undefeated side in their pool, the GIANTS were crowned national champions in their division as the Swans and the Tasmania split their two games, while the Northern Territory went winless.

A young GIANT showed she’s a star of the future at the championships, with talented utility Darcie Prosser-Shaw awarded MVP of Pool B as well as named in the starting midfield in the All-Australian side which consisted of players from both Pool A and B.

Starring in the midfield, the 15-year-old averaged 21.5 disposals at 72 per cent efficiency to go along with four marks, seven tackles and a goal per game.

GIANTS Academy teammate Rose Bell also impressed and joined Prosser-Shaw in the All-Australian team, named in the back pocket.

Walker said the recognition for the young pair was well deserved following their starring roles in the title win.

“It was awesome to see both those girls rewarded after playing so well across the two games,” she said.

“We had a really strong under-16 side this year and it’s great that they both made the All-Australian team and there’s another two or three that could have easily made the side as well.”

Making Prosser-Shaw’s MVP performance even more impressive is the fact the athletic youngster plays predominantly as a defender and recently as a forward but was thrust into the midfield for the first time at the championships where she wasted no time in dominating in the new role.

“We’ve played her down back ever since we can remember and we moved her into the midfield just for Nationals so for her to be named as a starting midfielder in the All- Australian team and be named MVP is a really great effort,” Walker said of the Baulkham Hills product.

“She had a very well-rounded game and she’s a hard worker, so I’m not surprised. Her defence and her pressure in the contest is a real strength and her ability to work towards goal and finish is also at a really high level.”

Prosser-Shaw is one of four fifteen-year-olds from the GIANTS Academy also playing for the GIANTS in the Coates Talent League (CTL) under-18 competition, with Walker holding high hopes for the talented teen.

“She debuted in the CTL on the weekend and played forward and she played really well there,” Walker said.

“I think she’s probably going to become more of a mid-forward. As a defender she’s very much an attacking defender and can intercept mark which is a great weapon, but I see her moving towards a mid-forward role.

“She’s played everywhere in the past month, but she’ll play CTL as a forward again this week and it’ll be great to see her establish herself in that role and support our ball movement and see her tackle pressure on show.”

Also highlighting the performances of young forward Lauren O’Sullivan and defender Hannah Phillips, Walker was thrilled her side was able to win both of its matches at the championships playing the GIANTS’ way.

“Our development across the two games was huge and it’s really exciting that we got the reward in the wins over Tassie and the Northern Territory.

“Our current 16s are a very strong age group and one of the best groups that have come through the Academy in years, so I was really stoked for them to win both games as they’re a very talented bunch.

“The best part about the championships is that we played the way we’ve been educating them, and winning off the game plan we’ve taught them is something we are really proud of.”

Click here to watch the replays from the National Championships. 

2024 Girls Under-16 National Championships results:

GIANTS Academy 10.7 (67) def Tasmania 5.5 (35)

GIANTS Academy

Best: Lauren O’Sullivan, Hannah Phillips, Zoe Curry, Jade Paterson, Darcie Prosser-Shaw, Jade Brazier

Goals: Lauren O'Sullivan 6, Jade Brazier, Evie Henley, Zara Neil, Darcie Prosser-Shaw

GIANTS Academy 9.8 (62) def Northen Territory 2.6 (18)

GIANTS Academy

Best: Darcie Prosser-Shaw, Hannah Phillips, Rose Bell, Majella Day, Mia Cooper, Jade Brazier

Goals: Mia Cooper 3, Lauren O'Sullivan 2, Jade Brazier, Majella Day, Addison Hickey, Darcie Prosser-Shaw