Ava Jordan - the Rising Star
When it comes to finding out who some of the standout midfielders in the NAB League Girls competition are – one of the best places to check is the list of players that have the highest average disposals per match.
The top of this list is adorned with some of the best and biggest names in the competition. Many of them are finishing their time in the NAB League as they are on the brink of receiving a call up to the Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) competition.
Yet among those names on the list who are enjoying their last months in the NAB League is a young midfielder who has only just started her journey within the competition – and that is Ava Jordan.
Sitting at sixth on the list, Ava has already put her name up there with some of the best in the league, and she is just 16 years of age.
This young Northern Knights’ prospect has been extremely impressive during the 2022 season and, with an average of 26 disposals and 7 tackles a match, it is easy to see why.
“I think my footy is travelling well,” Ava said when asked about her great start to the 2022 season. “I am continuing to learn and grow and feel that I’m improving as the season goes on.”
The performance of Ava during the 2022 season has certainly not been out of nowhere as the young gun showed glimpses of her potential during a highly successful 2021 campaign.
However, before we bring to light her amazing efforts during 2021, it is better to first see how this exciting player was brought into the football world and, as it turns out, she enjoyed a humble beginning to her footy.
“When I was in around grade 3, I got asked to help fill in for the year six team at our local club and played a couple of games that year.”
“Ever since then, I have loved the culture of the game and playing with many friends from school was even more enjoyable which is why I wanted to play it even more.”
A better part of a decade later, Ava has established herself as one of Victoria’s premier youngsters – all thanks to her hard work, dedication, and her plain old love of the game. Fittingly, this passion has only grown during her time with the Northern Knights.
“My time at the Knights has been a great experience throughout the 2 seasons,” she said when asked to describe her experiences there. “I have learnt so much about myself and how to play the game as well.”
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the coaching staff and players as it’s such an awesome environment to play footy in.”
This love of footy was reflected in her performances, with the midfielder enjoying an amazing 2021 season that was topped off by her finishing runner-up to the Northern Knights Best and Fairest and getting crowned as the Knights Rising Star.
“It was a real privilege to be awarded the Rising Star. I was over the moon and grateful that I got the opportunity to be a part of such a great team and the award just topped off the experience.”
The 2021 season didn’t just include her efforts with the Knights as Ava earned a Victoria Metro under-17s selection as well – a feat that resembles her time in the Victorian School Sport under-15s team.
“It was an amazing experience that I will always be very grateful for,” she said when asked about her experience in the Victoria Metro side.
“Having the opportunity to pull on the VIC Metro jumper and playing alongside familiar faces in the team was surreal and is something I will always cherish.”
In case that wasn’t enough, Ava also earned a spot in the 2021 YJFL Youth Girls Team of the Year. However, this was the latest in the long line of achievements that she has had in the YJFL.
This is because, at Ava’s home club Banyule, she received the Best and Fairest in the under-12s, the under-14s, and the youth girls’ competitions.
Impressively, she also mirrored these results in the YJFL Best and Fairest count, having been crowned that for the under-12s, the under-14s and the youth girls as well.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to impact the YJFL positively and to now see so many more girls playing each year is awesome,” she said when asked how it felt to have had such success within the league.
“I play footy to be able to create memories with friends and have some fun so being able to impact the league as well just tops it off.”
On the topic of memories, one of her favourite moments came during last year as well but, as a sign of her humbleness, it has nothing to do with any of her awards from that year.
“My most favourite memory would have been the celebration after the game against Eastern last year. As a team, we were thrilled that we won, and it just bought us all closer together.”
Sitting as one of the better midfielders in the competition and with an impressive list of accolades to her name – Ava has come a long way since first deciding to play footy in year 3.
However, over this long journey, the young prospect has had some great support behind them – with one, in particular, standing out in her mind.
“Mainly just my family as they’ve been my biggest support all my life,” she replied when asked if there was anyone she would like to thank for impacting her footy.
“Through the many drop-offs and pickups at training and games, without them, I wouldn’t be able to play footy.”
Enjoying an amazing 2022 season and with a background that includes a state selection and several Best and Fairest awards; there is a major goal left for the young Knight.
“The big goal is to get drafted next year but I want to just keep playing consistent footy until then.”
“My little goals would be to keep improving on my weaknesses throughout the year but also to pinpoint my strengths and be confident in the way I play footy.”
And considering where she is sitting currently, amongst some of the best names in the competition, it begs the question of just how good can Ava Jordan be by the time her draft day comes around?
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All of these images have been kindly supplied by Ava Jordan.