Huntington leads Metro charge

Friday, May 10, 2013

When you’re playing against the boys each week, taking on the best under 18 girls in the country isn’t the giant obstacle it might seem to be.

Even if you are only 14.

Isabel Huntington has the ability to rival any U18 female footballers in the country, despite giving up four years to her to more senior opponents.

The age gap hasn’t worried the unassuming Huntington though, who has been a revelation at the Youth Girls National Championships in Shepparton.

In a Vic Metro team full of stars such as powerful midfielders Ellie Blackburn and Maddie Keryk, Huntington has shone.

“Being my first National Champs there were definitely nerves to start with but as soon as we started playing they settled down,” She said.

“My teammates were terrific and that’s been the best thing about coming away, is making so many new friends in the Vic Metro and Vic Country/Tas side.”

With her clean hands over head, a classy left-foot kick and superior game awareness, Huntington has caught the eye of onlookers like no other.

In game one against Queensland, she was Vic Metro’s best, taking a dozen marks playing off the wing.

The 14-year-old from South Melbourne then showed her versatility by kicking three first-quarter goal on Tuesday against NSW/ACT before being rested by her coaches.

While she admits it was a little frustrating watching on form the sidelines, Huntington knows the real test comes today, when she and her Vic Metro teammates take on Western Australia in the Youth Girls grand final.

“I’d be really happy if we won the grand final, it would make my year,” she said.

“If we do play WA it will be really tough, they’re very good side.”

Huntington has an added incentive to play well in the big one with her older brothers, both talented footballers in their own right, watching her play against the girls for the first time.

“My oldest brother Lachie (19) used to play with the Sandringham Dragons and now is with Port Melbourne. My other bother plays with Old Collegians and both of them have only ever seen me play against the boys,” she said.

Because of her age, this is Huntington’s last season where she can compete against boys in her local competition. But with such a rare ability on the football field, senior womens sides will be lining up for her services.

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