By ZAC MILBANK
The Hostplus SANFLW League is only two rounds old but the Pinktails are well and truly making their presence felt.
As the competition celebrates Indigenous Round this weekend, nine talented female footballers from Central Australia will be putting their skills on display with North Adelaide and South Adelaide.
Not all are Indigenous but that doesn’t matter as they share a common goal to represent the people of Alice Springs whilst providing those back home with the aspiration to achieve their personal best.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, founder of the Pinktails program – Rob Clarke – said it was designed to provide promising footballers in the Red Centre with a pathway through to elite level.
As a result, the Pinktails have forged relationships with SANFL clubs North Adelaide and South Adelaide, who are already reaping the rewards of their involvement.
In Round 2, the Pinktails had the unique situation of their players facing off against each other at Flinders University Stadium as the Panthers hosted the Roosters.
North’s Doreena Hansen, originally from remote NT town Tennant Creek, kicked 2.2 while Sarah Steele-Park had an impact with 19 disposals and seven marks for the visitors.
Shannon Hanning produced plenty of defensive pressure for South Adelaide with her 14 disposals and four tackles while teammate Caitlin Couch played her role with 11 disposals and two clearances.
After representing Australia in Softball, Vanessa Stokes will make it nine Pinktails playing in SANFLW ranks when she makes her debut for South Adelaide in Round 3.
Once their SANFLW campaign concludes, the Pinktails will return to Alice Springs to resume training in their elite program while representing their local clubs in the Central Australian Football League.
A return to playing representative matches is also on the agenda in the near future as the Men’s arm of the program – the Redtails – also continues to strengthen.
North Adelaide played host to exciting Redtails talent Nigel Lockyer in 2021, with the 24-year-old now relocating to Adelaide for preseason training with the Roosters ahead of the 2022 season.
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