Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Gridiron Comes Down under; Ipswich Duo Welcomes Championship Challenge

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Gridiron Comes Down under; Ipswich Duo Welcomes Championship Challenge

Article excerpt

BEN

WILMOTT

ben.wilmott@qt.com.au

AT OVER six-foot tall, Ipswich gridiron player Meagan Cover cuts an imposing figure on the football field.

Her laidback personality hides a determined athlete who is on the cusp of making Australian sporting history in the world of American football.

With Australia set to field its first team in the 2017 IFAF Women's World Championship, Cover will join former Western Jaguars captain Jody Smith in the Australian Outback training squad in February.

While Smith was selected at the start of the year, Cover had to impress selectors with a standout performance in her rookie season with the Griffith University Gridiron team.

"A lot of these girls were selected at the start of the year but I was selected purely based on my performance throughout my season," she said. "I kept it quiet so none of my mates knew about it in case I didn't make it so it was awesome to find out I had been selected.

"In a sport like this you need to have a lot of determination and self drive. My on field performance has really improved considering it is my rookie season, and I would like to think I was one of a few standouts."

From the 80 players selected in the Outback training squad, the two Ipswich representatives are hopeful of making the final cut which will see 40 members become the first Australian women's team to compete at the IFAF World Cup.

Still classed as a 'rookie', Clover said the camp would give her a unique opportunity to learn from experienced coaches from America and Australia.

"Now we go into an intensive camp for a week in February and that's where we all come together from all over Australia," she said.

"We'll all just train, eat, breathe and sleep football.

"I'll just try to do what I do, perform well and pray that I get the ticket. Even just making it to the selection camp is good but to say that I was a part of the first ever Australian team would be amazing."

With interest in the iconic American sport growing in Australia, Cover hopes the Outback team can bring more exposure to the women taking up the fast-paced sport. …

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