European CrossCoders bound for AFLW rookie camp in Melbourne

AFL Europe is excited to announce that 14 elite European sportswomen are set to travel to Melbourne next week, with the chance to shine in front of AFLW clubs at the inaugural International Rookie Women’s Camp with CrossCoders.

The European contingent from Ireland, France, Wales & England will travel alongside other highly talented sportswomen from America, Canada & Fiji, who have been identified from a pool of over 100 applicants to the CrossCoders program.

At least one of these women will find their way onto an AFLW list in 2019, with the Western Bulldogs and reigning premiership coach Paul Groves throwing their support behind the landmark international talent identification pathway.

The camp will see the elite talent from rugby, basketball, Gaelic football, camogie, netball, soccer and track & field backgrounds all vying to impress scouts, in a new frontier for the international expansion of Australia’s game.

AFLW Grand Final - Western Bulldogs v Brisbane

Paul Groves after the Bulldogs AFLW triumph in 2018. Photo – Zimbio

CrossCoders is the brainchild of Paul Groves, current Bulldogs AFLW player, Lauren Spark, AFL England President, Jason Hill, and serial entrepreneur Jonathan Jeffries.

Initially designed to deliver one prized rookie position on the Western Bulldogs list to an elite international talent, the program has expanded to become an AFLW-wide initiative that will allow all clubs to cast their eye over the cream of the international crop.

CrossCoders co-founder, Jason Hill, said he was extremely excited to help these “genuine superstars” transition to Australian Football after the application process received an overwhelming level of interest.

“We are so excited that in such a short period of time we’ve been able to attract such a highly talented list of amazing women. It’s amazing to see such a diverse spread from the up and coming superstar to the experienced performer, from the USA to Fiji,” Hill said.

Nia Jones is a Welsh dual-international in netball and soccer. Photo – BBC

“Speaking with the AFLW clubs, there is such intrigue into how International sports can transition into the sport and what skills can be adapted to give the clubs a competitive advantage in the 2019 season.

Hill says that CrossCoders can become a key pillar of the infrastructure that promotes international expansion of the game amongst women, with getting the foundations in place before the gulf between homegrown and overseas talent becomes too vast crucial to any future growth.

“The AFLW has a unique opportunity to be one of the few professional women’s sports in the world… at the moment, outside of WNBA, Soccer and Cricket, there aren’t many professional team sports around the world and even fewer which are supported as well by a nation as AFLW.

“I believe if we put these both together we have the perfect melting pot to push AFLW to the top of Women’s International Sport while others play catch up in becoming professional.

“I am passionate about finding ways to create further opportunities in professional sport for women and this is what CrossCoders is predicated on – the belief that we can help make more opportunities for women across the world in sport.

Aishling Sheridan will swap the Gaelic football for the Sherrin. Photo – Crosscoders

“Right now, we are seeing a growing movement across many different sports finally giving women the platform they deserve to showcase their talents and skills to the world. CrossCoders was born out of the desire to give women across the globe opportunities to succeed in sport, business and not be limited by the current professionalism of female sport.”


CrossCoders Inaugural Rookie Camp Participants – Melbourne

  1. Ailish Considine – Ireland – GAA
  2. Aishling Sheridan – Ireland – GAA
  3. Francesca Hocking – England – AFL & Soccer
  4. Aisling Curley – Ireland – GAA
  5. Matelita Tuilevuka – Fiji – Rugby Union
  6. Aisling McCarthy – Ireland – GAA
  7. Muireann Atkinson – Ireland – GAA
  8. Amanda Maginn – Ireland – AFL
  9. Eimear Gallagher – Ireland – GAA
  10. Amelia Kahr – USA – AFL
  11. April Lewis – USA – AFL
  12. Coline Duquet – France – AFL
  13. Fiadhna Tangney – Ireland – GAA
  14. Mairead Coyne – Ireland – Rugby Union
  15. Mary Ryan – Ireland – Camogie
  16. Nia Jones – Wales – Netball & Soccer
  17. Nicola Kirwan – Canada – AFL & GAA
  18. Yvonne McMonagle – Ireland – GAA


Follow the progress of the CrossCoders camp here




Riley Brettell – AFL Europe