Women’s football recruiters raid Quidditch leagues in search of top talent

3 weeks ago By Ben Daniels

Women’s football continues to explode, recruiters are searching in all manner of areas for the next Erin Phillips... But Harry Potter and Quidditch?

That’s exactly where South Melbourne Districts women’s footy team has headed, luring a group of girls from the world of Quidditch including Taya Rawson, Henrietta (Henny) Gelber and Clementine Round.

Today they play in the VAFA lightning Premiership, minus the broomsticks, bludgers and snitches that Harry Potter fanatics associate with Quidditch.

Rawson, 26, is the highest profile of the recruits given last year she was part of the Australian team that claimed the Quiddith World Cup in Frankfurt, beating 21 other countries.

“I thought Quidditch sounded pretty funky until I went down and had a go four years ago when I found it a lot more physical and demanding than I expected,” said Rawson, who stands 185cm.

“People are starting to catch on to the fact there is an actual sport named Quidditch. The first question you get asked is ‘do you fly?’ or where’s your broomstick. Every university in the US has a team. The game is a mixture of AFL, dodge ball and netball, with three games happening at once.

“So moving to Australian rules had some similarities. Henny Gelder joined South Melbourne and told us about how much fun the footy was so I decided to give it a go. My kick is coming along quite nicely and I’m starting to get used to the size of the football field.”

Updated 12:57 - 5 Apr 2017 by Ben Daniels

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