Southern Districts Junior Football Association’s Harrison Ponsford set to compete at national champs

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WA State 12s representative Harrison Ponsford.
Camera IconWA State 12s representative Harrison Ponsford. Credit: Laurie Benson

Southern Districts Junior Football Association’s Harrison Ponsford will compete against some of the best young footballers in the country next month.

Harrison has been selected in the WA State 12s AFL team that will compete at the School Sport Australia Interstate Championships over east.

The competition features boys’ and girls’ 12s teams from across the nation and will be hosted by the city of Albury from August 5-11.

The keen 12-year-old is the only Great Southern boy selected in the 23-strong team after more than 550 juniors were trialled across five weeks in Perth earlier this year.

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Harrison Ponsford looks up to West Coast Eagles star Jeremy McGovern.
Camera IconHarrison Ponsford looks up to West Coast Eagles star Jeremy McGovern. Credit: Laurie Benson

His mum Melissa Ponsford said being chosen after such a meticulous selection process was a testament to Harrison’s talent.

“I’m very proud, we know he’s pretty good here but to test it up in Perth is great,” she said.

“You sort of just wait for the team to be announced as it gets less and less over time after more trials.

“There’s a lot of commitment with travelling up to Perth every week but it’s an amazing opportunity for him.

“Playing down here, he’s really excelled and he’s been a champion every year while still being really modest.

“There’s not a lot of pathways here at this age before they get to the (Great Southern) Storm program so you’ve got to search for what you can give to them, really.

“Although it’s catered towards metro kids with everything based in Perth, it can’t be a State team without players from all over the State.”

Harrison, who plays as a defender and midfielder, said he was looking forward to making new friends in the team.

The Great Southern Grammar student draws inspiration from a star from similar beginnings — four-time all-Australian and premiership player Jeremy McGovern — who played his junior footy in Albany.

Michael Barton from St Mark’s Anglican Community School will fill the role of coach for the week-long tournament.

WA will face teams from the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Oscar Judd, son of West Coast and Carlton great Chris Judd, is playing in the Victorian squad.

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