Players to Watch

Maddison Smith : Tasmania

Maddie is one of the ‘babies’ of the Academy group being only 16 years of age and also the newest to playing AFL.

She was given dispensation to play for Tasmania as a 15 year old as she did not meet the minimum age requirements of the Nationals. She impressed coach, Trent Bartlett, so much that as soon as he saw Smith in action he sought to receive special player eligibility for her.

In only her first year of playing AFL, Smith has already achieved what hundreds of thousands of other footballers spend a lifetime never achieving. In the first ever women’s Nationals for Tasmanian women she gained state selection. She then made the All Australian team having worked hard off the half back line to impress the panel of selectors.

Then on return to Tassie Smith’s club Clarence WFC won the 2011 Women’s League Premiership. To cap off her first stellar year in AFL, she was selected to attend the AIS/AFL Academy during the 2011 AFL Grand Final week.

"I will be eating and warming up differently now and telling my team all the stuff I learnt. I can go to different teams for a Q and A session. I would really love to go talk to school to promote girls playing footy. From that I would like to get more young girls playing in our comp. but mostly get a youth girl’s state team playing in 2/3 years from now. I just want more girls feel what I feel when I play footy."

Lofty plans for one so young but sure to be appreciated by game development staff in Tasmania.

Maddie’s favourite footballer is Chris Judd "because he changes the game for the better."

"I want to be the best footballer I can be," said Maddie. "I am looking forward to learning from the best female footballers in Australia whilst on the HPA Camp."