Quinlan Impresses In First Series
Australian Women’s Open player, Ashleigh Quinlan is used to being one of the youngest players in her team, so it was no surprise when she was announced in the Australian Women’s Open team for last week’s 2012 Trans Tasman Series.
The year 12 student became one of only a handful of 17-year-olds to ever represent Australia at the Open’s level in the series, doing so with fellow 17-year-old Charlotte Caslick.
It has been an impressive rise for Quinlan, who has achieved plenty in a few short years. At just 15 years of age in 2010, Quinlan was a part of the Sydney Mets Women’s Open team that won the 2010 National Touch League title and was there again when the New South Wales Mets won the 2011 Elite Eight title.
She was also brought into the New South Wales Combined High Schools 18’s Girls side in 2010 as a 15-year-old and has won two consecutive titles with the team. She was also one of the youngest members of the Australian 18’s Girls side that defeated New Zealand three games to nil in the 2011 Youth Trans Tasman Series in Canberra.
Quinlan says that to make the Australian Women’s Open team at such a young age was ‘really exciting’ and something she didn’t expect so early in her career.
“I was really happy, it was one of my big goals to make the Australian Women’s Open team. I expected it a bit later, I didn’t expect it this early,” Quinlan said.
“We (Charlotte and I) are so young, I didn’t think we’d get the opportunity at this stage, but it’s really good.”
Prior to the series, Quinlan said that what she was looking forward to the most was learning from the game’s best Women’s players.
“Just playing with the girls, getting a lot of experience, I think experience is the main thing.”
“I’ve learnt a lot from the girls, the older ones especially, like Woodsy (Kelly Woods), KJ (Kristy Judd) and Weezo (Louise Winchester).
“There’s a lot of experienced players in the team…I’ve played with KJ and Weezo before but the Wollongong girls like Jess McCall and the Queensland girls, it’s the first time I got to play with them.”
Quinlan impressed in her first series at the Australian Women’s Open level, playing all three games and winning the Kristy Judd award at the Australian Presentation Function following the series.The Kristy Judd award was created in the lead up to the 2011 World Cup, given to a player who epitomises the characteristics of one of the stalwarts of Women’s Touch Football. These characteristics include showing dedication and commitment, always putting the team first, being a good role model for the game of Touch Football, playing consistently well for Australia always in a good spirit and shows strong determination, passion and a competitive nature.
Despite their achievements to date, both Quinlan and Caslick are still eligible to represent their country at a Youth level next year.
“I was still a young one in that team (in 2011) and I’ll still be able to play next year as well.”