Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 3:29 PM

THE West Perth Football Club is delighted to announce its first female football state representative with Jacinta Valentini named in the WA squad for the upcoming AFL U18 Youth Girls National Championships.

A squad of 35 players to represent the Mundella Western Australia U18 Youth Girls was announced and it with great pride that West Perth can confirm that Valentini is part of that group.

She began playing football seriously back in 2012 when she represented Beldon Primary School in the inter-school competition. 

She went on to play 10 games in the all boys Hammers team that same year at Ocean Reef Junior Football Club.

She played another 14 matches with the Makos team, again all boys, at Ocean Reef in 2013 while also earning the opportunity for her first appearance in the West Perth Youth Girls team.

Valentini was beginning to become a standout footballer but also in netball where she represented WA in the under-21 state indoor netball tournament in Brisbane in 2014.

She has also represented the Joondalup Netball Club in the Smarter than Smoking netball competition A Team for five years running and is a four-time fairest and best winner at Saints Netball Club.

Valentini has continued on with her football journey, though, and is now rewarded with her selection in the squad for the Youth Girls National Championships.

The players, selected from the Mundella WA Women’s Football League, will undertake an intensive training program in the lead-up to games in May and July.
This will include a trial match against the Mundella State U23 Women’s team as a curtain-raiser to the West Coast Eagles v Western Bulldogs AFL game at Domain Stadium on Friday, May 12 and a hit-out against East Fremantle’s senior women’s team on July 2.
A jumper presentation will be held at Domain Stadium on Monday, May 15 before a team is selected to travel to Sydney for the opening two games against NSW/ACT and Queensland on May 20 and 21.
The players will return to their WAWFL clubs following these games and then resume U18s squad training on June 26 before departing for Queensland on July 9 for another three National Championship games in the space of five days.
West Australian Football Commission Talent Manager - Female Programs Clint Degebrodt congratulated each of the players on their selection and said competing at the National Championships was a fantastic development opportunity not only for the players but coaches and umpires as well.
"The Youth Girls squad forms a key part of our strategy to prepare the next generation of female footballers, coaches and umpires for the elite level," Degebrodt said.
"While WA has demonstrated great success in female football development with 37 players drafted for the inaugural AFL Women’s competition, we are also aware of the need to continue making this a strong focus.
"We are really looking forward to this year’s Championships and are expecting to be very competitive."

AFL U18 Youth Girls National Championship Fixtures
Saturday May 20 - 2.30pm WA v NSW/ACT at Blacktown International Sports Park
Sunday May 21 - 11am WA v QLD at Blacktown International Sports Park
Monday, July 10 - TBC WA v SA/Vic Country/Vic Metro at Gold Coast
Wednesday, July 12 - TBC WA v SA/Vic Country/Vic Metro at Gold Coast
Friday, July 14 - TBC WA v SA/Vic Country/Vic Metro at Gold Coast