Nine months on since the launch of the Inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Girls Football Academy, the efforts of the academy players were celebrated in front of their idols.

The graduation ceremony – where the players were presented certificates – was combined with the AFLW 2019 premiership ring presentation.

It seemed fitting to bring the two groups together for a night of recognition and celebration.

After all, the AFLW players have had many encounters with the Academy throughout their journey at the Club

AFLW players assisted with the Academy launch in November 2018, only days after they returned for pre-season and many of the AFLW players gave their time willingly to the training sessions.

They assisted young players with their skill fundamentals and provided knowledge of the game, off-field expectations and insights into a day in the life of an AFLW player.

Academy members also had the opportunity to play in a curtain raiser for the Crows AFLW match against GWS at Unley Oval.

Premiership co-captain and Crows Academies Talent Officer Chelsea Randall was delighted to share the night with these aspiring young women and their coach Bronwyn Davey.

“We started our journey together in November, interacted throughout the season and to finish it together now, I thought that was a pretty special connection,” Randall said.

“Our Academy girls are a fantastic bunch, I’m so proud of their efforts and commitment to the program this season and we can’t wait to launch the next one.”

The Crows Academies look to identify talent, engage, inspire, nurture and accelerate a players development both on and off the field.

“These girls are the future of female football, whether that’s in the community or at the elite level,” Randall said.

“We hope that the program has inspired them to be the best version of themselves.”

Thanks to the support of Quitline and the Crows Children’s Foundation, the inaugural academy was a great success.