IT appears every sport Erin Naden turns her attention to, the gun 15-year-old catches the attention of all the right people.
A representative touch football player and a member of Royal Hawks’ Orange Netball Association division one grand final netball side, Naden is now carving up the Aussie Rules field.
Having only taken part in her first game of AFL last year, Naden was again picked as a member of the NSW/ACT AFL Indigenous team to take part in the 2016 Female Diversity Championship, this year in Shepparton.
Her NSW/ACT kickstart side didn’t win, but Naden was tremendous, winning the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award while also earning selection in the Australian Woomeras preliminary squad.
That squad will be cut next month, but given the sort of form the Canobolas Rural Technology High School (CRTHS) student produced over the course of the week-long championship, the speedy rover is all but a given to be named in the Aussie line-up.
“I didn’t think I’d make the team,” the modest Naden said.
“This is only my second year playing, so I didn’t think I’d make it. It’s a pretty good achievement.
“I was pretty shocked though, I haven’t played a lot before and I don’t know as much as all the other girls do, and they’re all really good.”
Her selection in the Woomeras squad is a gong Naden, given her nature, is inclined to talk down.
But her efforts on the field were sublime, with this excerpt from the AFL Tasmania website after Naden helped NSW/ACT knock off the Tassie girls indicative of her influence on the field.
“Erin Naden backed up stunning performances on the first day with another blistering game,” the game review read, before continuing.
“She showed her class with an outstanding run through the centre of the ground shrugging off a host of opposition players to send the ball inside 50, helping her team 4 point win.”
Naden was also captain of the NSW/ACT side at the championships, one involving 200 participants from Indigenous and Multicultural backgrounds come together and compete.
She says her speed was her biggest asset on the field.