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Parker makes move to Magpies
FORMER Riverlander Georgie
Parker will continue her elite
sporting career after signing with
Collingwood’s AFLW side as a
rookie for 2018.
The move comes after the
Commonwealth Games gold
medallist and former Olympian
announced her retirement from the
Hockeyroos at the end of 2016.
Parker said while football was
always a passion of hers, the pos-
sibility of playing the game pro-
fessionally only crossed her mind
when she received interest from
two AFLW clubs.
“After retiring at the end of
last year after the Rio Olympics
I didn’t even think about playing
footy until a few people mentioned
I should give it a crack during the
AFLW competition,” she said.
“Even then I didn’t think much
of it until Collingwood, then the
Crows, approached me, hoping I
would join their lists.
“After a fair bit of thought, I
thought ‘Why not give it a go’ and
started the process.”
Parker said she was “flattered”
to hear of the interest the two clubs
had in signing her.
“To have the biggest club in
Australia in Collingwood wanting
to sign me as well as the AFLW
premiers and the team I have sup-
ported my entire life in the Crows
wanting to sign me was pretty spe-
cial,” she said.
Parker said her friends
and family were “over the
moon” to hear the news.
“All my friends and family know
know how much this means to me,”
“Of course being an SA kid
many of them wished I chose the
Crows, but I’m sure I’ll be see-
ing many of them in the black and
Despite not getting a first-hand
look at the competition last year,
Parker said she had heard about
the success of the inaugural AFLW
“I was playing a European
season of hockey for a club in
Belgium so I didn’t get to watch
as much as I would have liked, but
passion and raw talent that were
waiting to get this opportunity,” she
“These girls are pioneering not
just footy for girls in Australia but
for women’s sports in general.
“I couldn’t get away from the
media attention the girls were get-
ting and I was on the other side of
“I can’t imagine what it would
have been like at home.”
According to Parker, football
has been a lifelong passion of hers
since growing up in the Riverland.
“We went to every AFL game
we could,” she said.
“I was one of the only girls at
the footy clinics or the only girl
on the back oval playing marks up
with the boys.”
Parker believes her experiences
as a professional hockey player
will hold her in good stead heading
into her time at Collingwood.
“There are not many females in
Australia that have been in a full-
time sports program,” she said.
“I was in one, for two Olympic
cycles, and understand the
demands of being an elite athlete.
“These girls are clearly passion-
ate about the game, but it’s being
able to grasp that talent and get the
most out of their body physically
and mentally that will take them to
the next level.”
Parker believes the same attrib-
utes that saw her succeed on the
hockey pitch will also be her
strengths when it comes to football.
“I was strong, powerful and fast,
with good spacial awareness, so I
assume it’ll be similar in footy,”
“I think my role with the ’Pies
will be around stoppages to get the
ball to space with my speed, or be
a small forward picking up some
crumbs in a pack mark situation.”
Lehmann and Hoffmann
earn state selections
THE current strength of junior football at
the Berri Football Club was highlighted
with Reece Lehmann and Tekira Hoffmann
recently selected to represent South
The two Demons juniors will compete
for the under 15 boys and girls teams at
their respective national carnivals in Perth
The Demons’ under 15s currently sit
in second place on the ladder, while their
under 13s are a game clear on top.
The duo’s Berri under 15s coach Kiara
Hoffmann said it was a special moment for
“It is very exciting and I’m sure they
will both represent the Berri footy club
really well,” she said.
Hoffmann said it was also a proud
moment as their coach.
“It is obviously special seeing as I coach
them every other week here for Berri,” she
“But I definitely can’t take much credit
for their talent.”
Hoffmann described Reece as a “domi-
“Every time he is on the footy field you
can feel his presence,” she said.
“He is a big, strong lad who knows how
to find the footy and he is a great team
Hoffmann labelled Tekira a smart foot-
“She reads the play really well and she
uses her body well in the contest,” she said.
“She is also great at the one-percenters.”
Hoffmann said both juniors are “great
both on and off the field”.
“Tekira has a great personality and is
always cracking jokes and lifting the mood
of the group,” she said.
“Reece has been a great leader for the
Hoffmann believes the club is posi-
tioned well for the future with its strong
“You definitely can’t doubt the talent
that we have in the juniors at the Berri
footy club,” she said.
“The future of the club looks really
later this year
at the under
Former Berri resident Georgie Parker (middle) in action during her international career with the Hockeyroos.
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