Evans “super excited” about long-awaited Vic trip

AFTER a year that was interruption after interruption for Northern Rivers-based talent Imogen Evans, the SUNS Academy captain cannot wait to run out in the NAB League Girls competition tomorrow. Due to border closures last year – residing in the northern part of New South Wales and the Academy being in Queensland – Evans was unable to play in the Suns two Academy matches against Brisbane Lions in September. Additionally, the inside midfielder was also unable to train or regularly see her friends outside of Zoom calls, making her footy life very difficult.


Fast forward to 2022, and Evans said she it was”honestly so exciting” about being able to run out for the first time since mid last year. The talented onballer said it was great to get out and run around against the Lions Academy, and to get the win “was even better”. On her 2021 compared to 2022, Evans was more relieved to be able to get back into the swing of things.

“I feel like last year was kind of a lull with just waiting for games, games getting cancelled and not being able to go to training,” Evans said. “Just being away from the team and the footy vibe for so long, but it’s been super long getting back into it and we’ve had a pretty good routine since after Christmas and haven’t had many interruptions. I’ve loved it, being able to train consistently with the girls.”

Imogen Evans spoils an opponent in the recent Academy match against Brisbane Lions. Picture credit: Highflyer Images

In the win over Brisbane, Evans collected 15 disposals, three marks, three clearances, two inside 50s, two rebounds and laid seven tackles. with the Suns getting up 6.9 (45) to 5.3 (33) in a come-from-behind victory thanks to three goals to zero in the second half. Evans said as the game went on, she felt the challenges of having not been able to play many matches.

“It was definitely, I’m not going to lie, it was very tough on the aerobic system,” Evans said. “I’ve been trying to really get up my running just because purely I know I haven’t played games for so long so the fitness wasn’t there. “I think I’ve been training pretty hard and think I did alright. “Definitely looking for feedback from that game, and just getting to more contests and being more consistent with my possessions, but overall that’s good.”

Last year the Suns were due to play a NAB League Girls game but it was cancelled in the 24 hours leading up to the match, which shattered Evans and her teammates who had looked forward to taking on a Victorian team. Now Gold Coast will face reigning premiers Oakleigh Chargers at Highgate Recreation Reserve tomorrow, in an event the midfielder is very much looking forward to.

“I am so excited,” she said. “This game got cancelled last year just because of COVID. I remember I was packing my bags, and then I got the text, and I was so disappointed and started tearing up, so I was like ‘dammit’. “I was keen to head down there and just be exposed to different levels of footy, and be able to see what the girls down there are doing, just their style and competing against them, and testing myself against the girls game styles and abilities, I’m just super keen and to see where I can improve especially, and what I’m missing in my game in order to get me to the draft and get drafted.”

On top of being able to play for the Suns, Evans was named captain of the side, something she was thrilled about and would cherish the honour.

“It’s good knowing that the girls like me yelling at them and I’m just not being a nuisance,” she said. “It’s good knowing that everyone wants me to be there and be that voice for everyone, and just to be able to be named captain is an honour and I hope to be able to do the girls proud in that game.”


Once the Suns have completed their NAB League Girls one-game campaign – the Lions Academy take on Western Jets simultaneously at The Hangar – the two Queensland Academies may face each other once more. The second clash between the pair was cancelled last Sunday due to the flooding that has impacted most of south east Queensland. Aside from the postponement of that match, the Academies will form to create Queensland and play three other states in the AFLW Under 18 Championships.

Though a different format to most years, Evans said she was glad that she could play, after the state only managed the one game before COVID-19 border rules cancelled Vic Metro from travelling north.

“We’ve got three scheduled which is exciting, fingers crossed everything goes well,” Evans said. “I mean I am disappointed we didn’t get to do the whole everyone in the one spot and we get to play round robin, but I guess I am super grateful we have the three games that we’ll be able to play so that we can all show off our skills and what we’ve been training for our whole footy careers, and just because it’s the best of the best and playing our best footy and hopefully all goes well and that we can play.”

Imogen Evans (right) celebrates a goal with Litonya Cockatoo-Motlap (centre) and Bella Iverach. Picture credit: Highflyer Images

Queensland clashes with Vic Metro on the Gold Coast on April 19 in a repeat of the cancelled match last year, before travelling down to Melbourne on April 22 to take on Vic Country. The Sunshine State wraps up its AFLW Under 18s campaign against the Allies back in Queensland on April 22.

But first for the Academies are the two NAB League Girls games tomorrow, with the Suns taking on the Chargers at Highgate Recreation Reserve from 2:30, whilst the Lions Academy locks horns with the Jets at The Hangar at 2:15pm.

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