Scotts Head's Poppy Johnston becomes part of Sydney Swans history

Phoebe, Poppy, Shania and April
Phoebe, Poppy, Shania and April

The QBE Sydney Swans Academy's senior girls squads created history yesterday when they ran out to play in the red and white for the first time and became the first Swans female teams to take to the field.

Front and centre were four locals, with Scotts Head girl Poppy Johnston and Coffs Harbour's Pheobe Baptists both playing in the Under 17 team, and Woopi's Shania King and Coffs Harbour local April Devine featuring for the Under 19 team.

"It was a momentous day," Academy head coach Jared Crouch said.

"We'll always look back at the start, where it all began when the Swans had their first official female teams."

Phoebe and Poppy had the honour of being in the first Swans team to play in a match as the Under 17 game was first up on the program. Not only was this the Swans first female match, it will also be recorded in the history books as the Swans' first win in female footy, with the girls claiming a comfortable 74 to 38 against their fancied rivals from the GWS Giants.

Poppy played in the midfield where she was around the ball all day, and also pushed forward to get her name on the goal kickers list. Phoebe was deployed across the half back line where her strong intercepting skills shut down numerous Giants attacks.

The Swans dominance was continued in the Under 19 match where a couple of late Giants goals added respectability to what was an otherwise dominant 67 to 47 Swans victory.

Shania King played on the wing and covered plenty of territory, while her speed was a constant threat. The highlight of Shania's day was when outsprinted her direct opponent and calmly slotted a goal.

April Devine played in the ruck where she used her skills to great effect to regularly win the contest against taller and stronger opponents.

Sunday's matches were the first of a two-game series against the Giants and are part of the selection process for the Allies team to play in the AFLW National U17 and U19 Championships on the Gold Coast in April.

Also in the news