Annabel Kievit - Top End Talent
The Northern Territory: a land that is home to diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes. It is an amazing place, a magical place. A place that is home to things that you would struggle to find elsewhere in Australia.
And much like its unique fauna and flora, the Northern Territory has a football prospect so bright, so talented – that it is hard to find another one like her in the country.
Annabel Kievit, at 16 years of age, has established herself as one of the territory’s premier prospects. A title that has been strengthened by her recent naming as the 2021/22 AFL NT Women’s Rising Star.
“It’s such a good result for all the hard work I have put into my game both on and off the field this season,” Annabel said when asked about how it felt to be named as the Rising Star.
“I’m so grateful for Waratahs for allowing me to play premier league footy, and for all the girls to be so supportive and proud of what I have achieved.
“I’m super happy with the result and wouldn’t have wanted it to be my first season in the premier league with any other club.”
Being named as the NT Women’s Rising Star has been the most recent event in a long and successful footballing journey for Annabel; a journey that began back in 2016.
Back then, the young and sporty Annabel was busy playing “almost every sport” – from which, soccer and athletics were the two that stuck. She was then talked into playing footy by her best friend and, from there, the soon-to-be star of NT footy joined the under-12s at St Marys.
Eventually, this would lead her to the Waratah Warriors where, after becoming enriched by her footy, she decided to drop the two aforementioned sports of athletics and soccer to focus on her footy full-time.
Deciding to drop her previous main sports for footy was a major call, but by fully embracing the support that the Warriors provided her with – the young gun began to use that extra time to flourish in the red and white.
“It’s just amazing how much support I have gotten from everyone,” Annabel said when asked about her time with the Warriors. “And the support from the Waratahs as a club, as well as the coaches and my teammates, have given me throughout the season.”
“I’m so grateful for the experience I have been given and it feels good knowing all my hard work is recognised.”
It did not take the prospect long to find her feet at the Warriors. Because, in 2019, she made the trip to Tasmania with the Northern Territory representative side which marked her first breakthrough in footy.
“It was a good learning experience,” she said about her trip to Tasmania. “I had a lot of fun with the girls that went, even though we didn’t come away with a win.”
“When we did go down it was super cold which is different from the weather up in the NT, but It was super exciting being able to represent the NT, and it’s crazy to think how far I have come from that first big experience.”
This trip signalled the beginning of an amazing chapter in Annabel’s sporting life.
This is because the next year saw her represent the 2020 NT representative side again, while also claiming the under-15 girl’s Sharyn Smith Medal as the competition’s Best and Fairest.
Continuing to build an amazing sporting resume, 2021 saw her represent the NT side for the third straight year, while also representing the Medleys Team at the U19 AFLW Championships and the Gold Coast Suns Academy side at the U17 AFLW Championships.
“One of my favourites would be playing alongside the girls in Gold Coast,” she said when reflecting on her amazing footy journey. “That was a great new experience at a higher level.”
“Another one would be the Medley team; at the time I was injured so I couldn’t play but I was lucky enough to be able to help coach the team with Monique Conti which was super cool.
“As well all the new friends I made through that experience.”
Driven by the support of her teammates, coaches, and family. As well as gaining motivation through her high level of passion to continue to perform at her best – Annabel, since that trip to Tasmania in 2019, has never taken a step backwards with her footy.
Entering 2022, Annabel was selected once again to represent the NT – making it the fourth straight year.
“It’s such an honour to be able to represent my state on the footy field so many times at my age,” she said when asked how it felt to don the colours of the territory.
“I always learn so much from the experience, both on and off the field. It’s great to be able to have those opportunities to showcase the talent the NT does have.”
And, not stopping there, she was selected into the NT side that faced off against the SANFLW club, Woodville-West Torrens – a match that she says felt “super special to be picked for”.
“… Being one of the youngest of the team I got to take a lot of knowledge onboard from the older girls and the intensity they bring helped improve my skills.”
Adding another accolade to her list for 2022, Annabel was selected for the Allies under-18s NAB AFLW National Championships side – which, when added to the Rising Star award, makes 2022 arguably her best year yet.
It has been a long and successful journey for the young Territorian; but as with any young prospect, she has been lucky to have some great support behind her these past few years.
“I would like to thank all the coaches, support staff as well as the volunteers, and my teammates that I have crossed paths with for always pushing me to play at my best and for all the support that they have given and continue to give me.”
“As well as my family and Chris for always supporting and being there for me no matter what.”
Considering how much she has already achieved – it begs the question of what is next for her?
“It would be great to play in the ALLIES game later in the year,” she said when asked about her footy goals. “I would also love to play VFL and then the big footy goal would be to be able to play AFLW.”
Annabel Kievit has come a long way since first strapping on the footy boots – to the point where she is now one of the territory’s top prospects.
And, much like the place that she calls home, there are not many around who can compare.
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All of these images have been kindly supplied by Annabel Kievit.