MELBOURNE were proudly represented by the under 15 Pinktails girls and Redtails boys at last weekend’s Michael Long Cup in Darwin.

The squads were drawn from Melbourne’s Central Australia Academy zone, which covers Alice Springs and surrounding communities such as Santa Teresa, Mt Allen, Engawalla, Papunya and Hermannsburg.

After coming together in January for their first training session, the side travelled north for the carnival to play sides representing Collingwood (Barkley region), Essendon (Tiwi Islands), Hawthorn (Katherine Region) and Geelong’s (East Arnhem) Academy zones.

The boys finished with one win and three losses, with Tyrell Martin named as their MVP; while the girls won two from four games with Kyanne Campbell selected as MVP.

Regardless of results, Rob Clarke, founder and president of the Central Australia Redtails and Pinktails program took pride in seeing the young athletes come together for the carnival.

“The trip to Darwin was an amazing success. For these young athletes having the opportunity to represent their community, families and peers from Central Australian was simply priceless,” Clarke said

“The Redtails/Pinktails Melbourne Academy, coupled with the Right Tracks Program, continues to provide pathways to high level sports and helps those who come through make positive choices in life.

“These young Centralians who took part are developing leaders in our community and we couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Melbourne FC Academy Manager Kyle Docherty made the trip to Darwin for the weekend and reiterated the value of the trip for the young squad.

“The weekend itself was such an amazing experience. The players all had the chance to represent Central Australia and the Melbourne Academy, which is something they’ll never forget,” Docherty said.

“It’s bigger than just football, it’s the valuable life experience gained that these players will be able to take back home, while giving them something to aspire to.

“In addition, the Academy and players were grateful for the support of New Balance who provided boots and apparel for the carnival.”

The carnival was organised by AFL NT, while their staff members in Alice Springs were involved in the planning and preparation of the Redtails and Pinktails squads.

Here are all the players who represented the Pinktails and Redtails below:

Pinktails Girls

  • Armani Francois
  • Brooke Campbell
  • Cassandra Coleman
  • Charlotte Rudd
  • Ella Fitz
  • Esther Arabie
  • Kyanne Campbell
  • Reeshay Stirling
  • Shakira Richards
  • Shianna Loy
  • Summer Rose-Lord
  • Tenisha Charles

Redtails Boys

  • Alonzo Nelson
  • Arnold Jack
  • Caylan LaPorta
  • Cornelius McCormack
  • Des Inkarmala
  • Elijah Bloodfield
  • Ethan Muir
  • Ezekiel Long
  • Jarrod Downs
  • Jordan Oliver
  • Kaleel Ross
  • Kane Albert
  • Lane Ellis
  • Leroy Jones
  • Liam Long
  • Luke Haywood
  • Max Duffell
  • Moses Wearing
  • Paddy Coffey
  • Tom Stockwell
  • Tyrell Martin
  • Wil Kelaart