Future stars take centre stage in inaugural U17 NAB AFLW Championships

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AN UNDER-17 NAB AFLW Championships will be run around the country for the first time in 2021, further cementing the talent development pathways in the women's space.

Given the variable nature of state borders due to COVID-19, the championships will be intrastate, rather than interstate, with talent pools split in half or aligned to academies in order to face off against each other.

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Sydney – which does not yet have an AFLW licence – is running under-17 and under-19 girls' academies for the first time this year, having progressively increased the age range of the programs over the past few years.

The talent on show in the under-17 championships will not be eligible for the NAB AFLW Draft until at least 2022, giving AFLW recruiters across the country plenty of time to monitor players and watch out for emerging talent.

Giants player Charlize Skaines fires off a handball during the NAB AFLW U17 All Stars match against the Swans at Tom Wills Oval on February 21, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

This year will also see the traditional NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships extended to an under-19 competition, in recognition of last year's interruptions.

The Under-19 Championships are slated to be played in April.

To watch this weekend's match between the Sydney Academy and GWS Academy, follow the livestream link here.

NAB AFLW Under-17 Championships schedule:

Date

Time

Fixture

21 February

12:30pm AEDT

GWS Academy v Sydney Academy

27 February

11:30am AEDT

Sydney Academy v GWS Academy

2 April

TBC

Vic Country v Vic Metro

15 May

TBC

Western Australia Academy

TBC May

TBC

Vic Metro v Vic Country

2 June

TBC

Western Australia Academy

25 June

5pm ACST

South Australia Academy

30 September

TBC

Northern Territory Academy

TBC September

TBC

Tasmania Academy

TBC September

TBC

Brisbane Academy v Gold Coast Academy

TBC September

TBC

Gold Coast Academy v Brisbane Academy

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