Q&A: Sophie Peters (Lions Academy)

ONE of Queensland’s top AFL Women’s draft prospects in 2023, Brisbane Lions Academy and Queensland midfielder Sophie Peters is a name to remember for Lions fans. A natural winger who can also play on the inside, Peters has come through the pathway playing at Maroochydore in the QAFL Women’s competition, and earning a spot in the AFL Women’s Academy.

At 164cm, the 18-year-old has shown her skill with ball-in-hand and her ability to transition the ball quickly through run and carry. Peters averaged 11 disposals, one mark, three tackles and booted two goals across three games at the national carnival.

Rookie Me Central spoke to the talented midfielder in the lead-up to Queensland’s first national carnival game against South Australia.

Q: Sophie, talk us through your football journey?

SP: I started playing in Under 13s, and I had just some friends playing in junior. I grew up playing soccer and I just started playing Under 13s and have played ever since and have come up to the Academy at Brisbane Lions.

Q: You impressed so much you were invited to the AFLW Academy, what has that experience being like?

SP: It’s been pretty cool. There’s been some unreal experiences that we’ve been able to do and pretty good game to play at Marvel which is a great opportunity.

Q: Speaking of the match at Marvel Stadium agianst the Under 23 All-Stars, how did you find that standard compared to the state league?

SP: It’s definitely a much higher standard just because everyone brings their own intensity and it all adds up. The training environment is pretty great.

Q: Through the Academy, are there any players from interstate you’ve bonded with over the journey?

SP: I definitely have to say the girls from Tassie, I think a few of us Queensland girls have become closer with the Tassie girls, and it’s good to train with girls from all around the country and learn how they train. It definitely helps me with my game.

Q: You have played for Maroochydore in the QAFL Women’s which has been a rich source of AFL Women’s players of late, what has it been like playing alongside those players?

SP: I think it’s cool to see them come through the pathway especially at my own club and get drafted, it definitely shows it’s possible to come from the Sunny Coast into a Brisbane Lions team. It’s been cool to play with some of them as well.

Q: How has the experience being a part of the Brisbane Lions Academy?

SP: It’s pretty good. We’ve had some good coaches this year, especially the AFLW girls coming to help out as our coaching which has been really great. They’ve definitely set the standard with how they want the Academy to be run, so it’s great.

Q: What is your preferred position, on the wing or playing inside?

SP: I prefer the wing, but I’m happy to play inside mid or I like rolling up forward as well which is fun.

Q: You had the chance to play three matches in the Talent League this year for the Lions Academy, what was that like?

SP: It’s been really great. We were lucky to come away with three wins, but it’s definitely good to go down and verse the Vic teams and come away with wins against them, but it’s been a great Academy run this year.

Q: What do you see as some of the strengths in your game?

SP: I definitely have to say my run and carry and bursting out of contests as well as my tackling pressure.

Q: What about the Improvements you’re looking to make?

SP: My contested groundballs and kicking on the run into space.

Q: Outside of footy, what are you looking to study?

SP: I’m currently studying occupational therapy at uni.

Q: Are you a Brisbane supporter?

SP: Yeah I am a Brisbane supporter.

Q: Which players do you look up to at AFLW level?

SP: In the Brisbane Lions definitely have to say Jade Ellenger or Orla (O’Dwyer) and Lily Poss (Lily Postlethwaite) just coming back from two injuries it’s been great to see her play.

Q: Goals for the rest of the season?

SP: My main goal would be to get drafted at the end of the year, but I reckon just have a pretty good national carnival and put my best foot forward and hope for the best.

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