Best junior footy players on show in Darwin

The country’s most talented young footballers were on display with the School Sport Australia Combined Australian Football Championships at TIO Stadium in Darwin last week. The week long carnival showcased the best U12 and U15 talent with players from all states and territories competing, expect for Tasmania.

South Australia claimed its first title in 34 years in the U15s division after defeating Western Australia by nine points in the final on Saturday. The win capped off a perfect carnival as the South Australians went through undefeated. The Crow-eaters were led by North Adelaide junior Lee Minervini who was the joint winner of the J.L. Williams Medal for the player of the carnival. Another familiar name in the side was that of Ben Jarman, the son of former Hawthorn and Adelaide superstar Darren. The young Jarman is slightly built and played as a small forward but had an effective carnival and bobbed up for a few goals. Western Australia and Victoria Country finished in second and third place while on the other end of the spectrum, Victoria Metro had a disappointing carnival by its lofty standards. Metro looked solid in its first game of the carnival against SA but struggled to find form after that. ACT provided the upset of the carnival after defeating Vic Metro in the second round by 14 points. Northern Territory struggled badly with a number of heavy defeats across the week. Captain Lachlan McKenzie was a shining light for the Territory and was rewarded with selection in the All-Australian team.

The U12s division was won by a dominant Victoria side in what was its 11th title win in 12 years. They received stiff competition from a gallant Northern Territory side which finished the carnival in second place with four wins and one loss. The Territory was able to field up to 12 overage players for the carnival, which helped with the side’s overall size and strength. There was also a Northern Territory Invitational team that participated in the carnival. The invitational team was made up of mostly boys from remote Territory communities. Although the side finished the carnival without a win, it would have been a memorable experience for them.


Game Plan for the NT Invitational U12 Team


The carnival also showed the best upcoming football talent women’s football with the Girls 16 and Under Championships. The final was won by Western Australia in a close encounter against Victoria.

Twitter – @JClark182

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.

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