Danielle Ponter


TWITTER – @JClark182

Is  Territorian Danielle Ponter the best young footballer in Australia?

The Sanderson Middle School student, who has only just recently turned 14 years old, has made a significant impact in her young football career.

Ponter made her football debut as an 11-year-old for St Marys in the NTFL Youth Girls U16 competition in the 2011/12 season and was a star from the outset.

In her first season she won the Sharyn Smith Medal, which is awarded to the best and fairest player in the Youth Girls competition.

She backed it up with another outstanding season the following year and was awarded with her second competition best and fairest.

Just last Sunday night she was yet again a runaway winner of the Smith Medal, winning 10 votes ahead of her nearest rival.

It capped off a great season for Ponter which also included being named a clear best on ground in her side’s premiership win after booting seven goals.

She kicked 58 goals in her 13 games for the season despite playing in a number of different positions throughout the year.

In her three years, she is a triple competition best and fairest and dual club best and fairest.

Even more astounding is the fact that she has two more years left at this level.

Ponter has a deep passion for the sport and thinks it is a shame that women cannot play AFL at the highest level.

“I love footy.

“Growing up in a family like mine you had no choice but to like footy.”

“Making it to the AFL is something I’ve always wanted to do so in a way it sucks being a girl” Ponter said.

Australian football is not the only sport Ponter excels at.

She won the Darwin Softball Rising Star award only two years after she started playing the game and was a key player in St Marys’ Division One side before making the Northern Territory U17 Developmental team.

She has also represented the Northern Territory in basketball, netball and touch football and has aspirations to go far in sport.

“Making the Australian Diamonds side for netball would be my biggest goal.” Ponter said.

Ponter was somewhat destined to be a star with her sporting pedigree unquestionable.

Her father Shane Ponter is a player life-member of St Marys and had played in seven senior premierships by the age of 23.

Her mother Susie Long is from the famous Long family that produced seven superstar brothers and AFL champion Michael.

She is also a cousin of current Hawthorn superstar Cyril Rioli, who she looks up to as a role model.

“I have plenty of role models when it comes to sport.

“Cyril Rioli and Gary Ablett Jnr would be the ones in the AFL and then there’s people like Maria Tutaia in netball”.

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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