• Jayden J Bartlett

Georgia McKee - a Class Act

Georgia McKee has all the qualities of an amazing small forward. She is quick, she is agile, and she is relentless: she is a class act. Simply, watching her play is unreal.

And no matter the distance or the angle, she’s a good chance to kick the goal.

She may only be 8 games into her debut season: but this classy player can put her hand up as one of the best small forwards in the South Australian National Football League (SANFLW) competition.

But the real kicker is that this goal sneak from Central District is just 15 years old.

Despite there being a lot of excitement around the Bulldogs’ exciting rookie: Georgia is quick to deny any claims that she is a talented prospect.

But her statistics speak for themselves.

She has kicked 10 goals in the 8 games that she has played so far in this SANFLW season, which places her equal fifth in the league tally.

She has also kicked 6 goals in the 2 matches that she has played so far for the 2022 South Australian under-18s squad.

“Being a part of the state team is such an amazing opportunity to have,” Georgia said when asked about her state selection. “To play different states and being able to represent South Australia is just an amazing feeling.”

“Especially playing with a bunch of girls that are great to play with also.”

Georgia in Action for the Croweaters - image by MWM

While 2022 has been Georgia’s first year in the SANFLW, it is by no means her first year of football.

Georgia’s earliest football memories were those of kicking the football in the backyard with her dad. It was around this time, at 5-years-old, that she decided to start playing football: and she has played it and loved it ever since.

Football has always just been my passion,” Georgia said when asked what made her pick the sport. “I played netball and soccer, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as football.”

“So, I just wanted to give up soccer and netball to focus on football and to see what the future would hold for me.”

She is now coming up to her eleventh year of playing football. Throughout that time has donned the colours of the Elizabeth Eagles and the Glenunga Rams. At the moment, however, she has made herself home at the Central District Football Club.

“Central District is like family to me,” she said when asked about her time at the Bulldogs. “Always have looked after me and supported me with everything.”

“I have such an amazing relationship with all my teammates and coaches. I can’t wait to continue my football with Centrals District.”

First to the Footy - image by MWM

Young players having an impact within the SANFLW is nothing out of the ordinary. We saw it with Nikki Gore in 2018, Teah Charlton in 2019, Hannah Ewings in 2020 and Lauren Young in 2021.

Now it seems that it is the Bulldogs’ time to have an exciting prospect of their own. Yet because she holds nearly 11 years of experience and is a major presence up forward: it is easy to forget that Georgia is only 15.

So, because of her age, there were some nerves when she found out that she was not only in the Bulldogs’ SANFLW squad but that she would be making a Round One debut.

“I was a bit nervous at the start and I was very excited when I heard I would be debuting in Round One: it is such an amazing opportunity to have and how lucky I am to be playing for the Dogs.”

“The day of my first game I was very excited but nervous at the same time. But it’s always good to have nerves, I just thought as it was just another game so I wouldn’t be nervous.

“It was such a great feeling to be out there with a bunch of girls in my team that I love and that support me through my football journey.

“After my debut game, I was so grateful to have been out there couldn’t have asked for a better club.”

She had 11 disposals and 4 tackles on her debut. The next week, in Round Two, she had 27 disposals and 3 clearances. Then came her breakout game in Round Three that included 17 disposals, 7 tackles and 4 goals.

Small but Dangerous - image by MWM

This breakout performance during Round Three of the 2022 SANFLW season was a long time coming for Georgia: who already set records in local football.

In 2015, she became the first female to win the NEMJFA award. She then came runner-up in 2017 and third in 2019, before winning it again in the under-16s in 2020 and the under-17.5s in 2021.

As well as awards, Georgia has been setting milestones. In 2016 she reached 50 games for the Elizabeth in Eagles and then, in 2021, she became the first female to reach 100 games for Glenunga.

Her time at Glenunga has been extraordinary since she has won their Best and Fairest every season for the past 6 years.

“Glenunga was great I enjoyed playing there, I had such amazing coaches out there. I played my hundredth game there: they were just always supportive.”

After a 2021 local season in which she kicked 41 goals, Georgia was selected into the 2021/2022 Adelaide Crows Academy.

“It has been a privilege to be part of the Crows Academy,” she said when questioned about this feat. “I have learnt so much more about football, developing my skills and techniques at a professional level.”

“I could say it has even taken me to a higher level in my first year of SANFLW, allowing me to establish myself into the senior team for Centrals.”

State Pride - image by MWM

Watching Georgia McKee play in the recent state matches: she appears to be a class above, despite being one of the youngest on the team. Possessing silky skills and having a ‘never-die’ attitude: she is either first to the footy or she quickly wraps up the opponent that bet her to it.

With skills like these, it does beg the question of how far this Central’s prospect can go.

My goal going forwards would be to play in the AFLW one day,” she said when asked about her future. “As I’m only 15 and playing league level football, I’m excited to see what the future holds for me.”

That is the biggest part of Georgia McKee’s story so far: she is only 15.

This means that despite having nearly 11 years of experience, possessing amazing skills and winning multiple Best and Fairest awards—this class act's story within the SANFLW has only just begun.

Yet despite having only just begun: Georgia McKee can already safely put her hand up as one of the best small forwards within the SANFLW competition.

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Article #230

Minutes with Moose would like to thank all of our ambassadors.

All of these images have been taken by MWM - the photo for the cover image was kindly supplied by Shelby Smith.

#WatchtheWomen #SANFLW #CentralDistrict #MinuteswithMoose

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