Ballarat Swans star Chloe Leonard has led the under-15 Victorian team to victory at the School Sports Victoria national championships.
Leonard was named captain of the side that travelled to Perth last week. The Victorian side went through the carnival undefeated and delivered a brilliant display in Saturday’s grand final, defeating New South Wales 6.8 (44) – 0.0 (0).
Leonard said while the scoreboard gave a one-sided impression, she felt it did not truly represent the contest. But the girls were rapt to come away with victory and the experience gained from captaining the side was huge.
“We were very happy with how we went,” Leonard said.
“I thought it was a really good experience, I really enjoyed it, I learnt a lot.
“I felt my leadership grew a lot over the week. As the week went on I felt a lot more comfortable because I hadn’t had an official leadership role before.
“All the girls were really good. I knew some of them from last year, so it wasn’t very hard to get to know everyone.”
Leonard was also selected in the 25-girl All-Australian team after starring at centre half-back. The 15-year-old normally plays through the midfield or forward for the Swans but she adapted seamlessly to the defensive role.
“I really enjoyed it, I hadn’t really played it before but I played in the back line last year.”
Leonard also thanked the Hepburn Football Club. She played five years with the boys’ team and said that experience was pivotal to where she has got to now.
Leonard said playing in the AFL Women’s competition was not something she had thought about too much, but last week was great exposure to some of the country’s best young, female footballers. But if she were to get the opportunity to play at the top level, that would be amazing.
“Some of the girls I played with will go on to play AFL Women’s, which is surreal...if I got the opportunity I would love to, but it’s not something I’m setting my heart on.”