Whichello Akeira-Juliet

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Akeira - Juliet Whichello

"My dream is to get drafted into any team in the AFLW" Akeira is one of our upcoming footy stars. She plays for the Willaston Donnybrooks and is one of the youngest players to join the SANFLW Central District Football Club senior women's squad. She went to school at Greenwith Primary School and then Golden Grove High School and it was there that she found such a love for sport. Football (Aussie rules and soccer!), Cricket, and even Korfball (similar to netball/basketball). Greenwith was the place where her love for sport started. A huge influence was her teacher Mr. Smith, who one day suggested to her that the Footy team needed more players, and from there she was hooked!

"I used to be a dancer, but I always loved sport..." In year 8 she joined the Gawler Rangers Baseball Club Inc. A friend there played for the Willaston Football Club and suggested Akeira come along for a look, she loved it straight away. She's coming up to her forth season with the Donnybrooks. In 2020 she was nominated by Willaston to join the Central Districts development program which meant getting to train and practice with an SANFL team. In 2021 AJ was nominated and selected to be a part of the Centrals U16s talent shield and from there she was selected by the coaching staff to train alongside the senior women's team. This all led to her being selected to be part of the inaugural development/reserves team and received the coaches award at the best and fairest ceremony that year! In May 2022 she received an email that she was selected to play for the girls U16s SANFL futures academy, which represents the state and all of this was televised. Very cool. She has also been nominated by the Donnys to play in the SA Country Football Championships. The SA Country Football Championships is an event that showcases, supports and celebrates country football, leaving lasting legacies in communities. 300 talented community footballers from country South Australia represent six zone teams across the men’s and women’s carnivals. Only last month she was named as one of the top 50 SA Country Women players and for her local club picked up awards for Breakthrough Player, best Under 18 Player, Team Of The Year (Ruck Rover) and runner-up in the senior women's Best and Fairest! She’s also been selected in the Central District U17’s Talent Shield and games begin next week!

"One in all in! I am very humbled by the love and support I have received from everyone since day one, especially those people I look up to. I've received such tremendous guidance from Megan Boers-Veen, Lauren Smith and Katelyn Rosenzweig!" She loves the family connection with the Donnybrooks and being in a sports team in general.... but when she isn't playing sports, she's watching it! She loves watching all the old-school footy matches with the rough and tumble play style. A huge Crows fan she has favourites in older players like Andrew Mcleod and current players like Shane McAdams. A bit of retail therapy, particularly shoes never goes astray either.

She recently celebrated 50 club games, well done AJ!

First shared on Gawler in Photographs ‘Humans of Gawler’ series 13 September 2023.

Photographs by Daniel James Down. Please click here to visit the Gawler in Photographs Facebook page.

Gawler History Team Inc thanks Daniel James Down (Gawler in Photographs) and the subjects of ‘Humans of Gawler’ for allowing us to preserve their profiles and photographs for future generations of Gawlerites to enjoy.

Please click here to view photos of Akeira-Juliet Whichello


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