Female players on high

When Beatrice Devlyn first kicked a football at age five, she burst into tears knowing she was too young to run with the lads.

From her first Auskick session, the then pre-schooler remembers counting down until she could join her first mixed junior team.

Now 15, Beatrice has played with the State team and has aspirations to play in the AFL.

"When I was allowed to play I was over the moon and kept playing since," she said. "I like the competition, I like the camaraderie and the team mateship."

Though female teammates were at first scarce, WA now has a wave of aspiring female players.

The WA Football Commission says more than 18,000 females played football last year in schools, clubs and Auskick - far more than the 4650 in 2012.

The increase is put down to more schools starting all-girls teams plus 25 new junior teams and a youth competition.

The West Australian

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