AFL NSW/ACT Female Football Ambassadors announced
AFL NSW/ACT is pleased to announce the signing of three Female Football Ambassadors in GWS GIANTS AFL Women’s trio, Alyce Parker, Haneen Zreika and Erin McKinnon.
Identified as role models within the industry, the Ambassadors are also local AFL NSW/ACT Talent Pathway graduates, all having represented the Rams in their early footballing careers.
The Ambassador Program is now in its third year and has helped drive the explosive growth in female football – a 44% increase in female participation in the region from 2017-2018 – which now sees New South Wales and the ACT have more female club players than any state, other than Victoria.
The aim of the Ambassador program is to further promote the game and continue this participation growth. Equally, having progressed from local football to the highest level, our Ambassadors will share their knowledge and experience, encouraging and inspiring the next generation of AFLW players from the region.
Alyce Parker was the GIANTS’ first pick in the 2018 NAB AFLW Draft. A former Rams, Eastern Allies and All-Australian Under-18 Captain, Parker played every game in her debut season at the GIANTS, gaining the Round One NAB Rising Star nomination. Currently Assistant Coaching with the Under-16 and Under-18 Rams Youth Girls programs, Parker says she is committed to giving back to football in the region.
“The AFL NSW/ACT team helped mold me as both a footballer and a person during my formative football years, and I am excited to be involved with the growth of women’s football in the region going forward,” said Parker.
“I know how important it is to promote the game within the region, as we know there are plenty of future AFL Women’s stars out there who are currently playing or who will play in the future.
“New South Wales and the ACT have produced over 20 players currently on AFL Women’s lists, and I know this number will only increase in the coming years.”
Western Sydney’s Haneen Zreika made her AFL Women’s debut in 2019 after spending 2018 on the GIANTS list. Working hard to gain a starting spot in Round One of the 2019 season, Zreika was the first Muslim woman to play Australian Football at an elite level. Zreika, a rugby league convert, also received a NAB Rising Star nomination in Round 7 of the 2019 season, and along with Parker and McKinnon, will represent the GIANTS again in 2020.
Inaugural GIANT, Erin McKinnon has been with the club since the inception of the women’s team in 2017. A former AFL Women’s All-Australian ruck, McKinnon’s talents were noticed from the get-go of the competition, also receiving a NAB Rising Star nomination in the game’s first year of play. Growing up playing her football in the AFL Sydney Junior competition, McKinnon has been a representative of football in the region for some time.