Deakoda and Shakaya Costello have been selected for the Gold Coast Sun's development squad and hoped to encourage more girls to take up AFL. Image: Supplied
Deakoda and Shakaya Costello have been selected for the Gold Coast Sun's development squad and hoped to encourage more girls to take up AFL. Image: Supplied

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Twins join new generation of AFL players

A PAIR of twins from the Whitsundays are leading the drive for women’s AFL in the region after both girls were selected for the Gold Coast Suns development program.

This year Shakaya and Deakoda Costello’s first chance to train in the Gold Coast Development squad as 2020 marked the debut of the side’s women’s team.

The 14-year-old pair started playing AFL four years ago after a friend recruited them to help make up numbers of a girls squad.

Shakaya said they were “naturals” and they hoped to encourage other girls to share their love of AFL.

“AFL my life now and I’d like to be seen on TV in front of my whole family,” she said.

“It’s good to get women’s AFL out there- everyone’s getting into it now and it’s good knowing that girls can be like boys and play and be as good as the boys are.”

Mother of the twins Jasmin Reynolds said the girls’ both dreamt of taking their passion for AFL to the next level.

“Both want to be professional women’s players, and this is just more step in the right direction for them,” she said.

“They know that women’s AFL is taking off now and they know it’s becoming more popular.”

The twins train alongside six boys from the region, but Shakaya was confident that anything the boys could do, the girls could do better.

“Girls can be much better than boys so if others want to come and try and give it a go they should, it’s such a good sport.”

Gold Coast Suns Development Regional Coach Luke Sommerville hoped an increased interest in women’s AFL across the state would encourage those looking to get involved in the local side.

“A couple of years ago the Sea Eagles had a women’s side but last season we didn’t have the numbers,” he said.

“This year we’re trying to get it back because it is a point of difference and it gives the ladies of the Whitsundays the chance to play.

“We’ve got a core group of 10 or 12 girls who are still around and we’re hoping for another 10 or 15 who are interested.

“Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting out of your comfort zone and trying something different, and the more the merrier.”

The Whitsunday Sea Eagles will run a women’s development program from Wednesday 8 January at Whitsunday Sports Park for women wishing to get involved in AFL.

For any inquires contact 4946 7359.