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'This year I wanted to make it': Kaylah embraces rep opportunity

Kaylah Maloney didn’t originally believe her mum when she told her she got the call up to the Queensland Under 17 City Girls team.

The 15-year-old playmaker originally missed the cut for the representative side, after pushing hard for selection.

She went to the talent identification day for the City team at QSAC in August, qualified for one of the three squads out of that trial, and went on to partake in training sessions and a carnival.

When the final team was announced and her name wasn’t there, Kaylah was still proud but disappointed.

However, as fate would have it, her opportunity was still yet to come after another player had to withdraw from this Saturday’s clash against Country.

Kaylah talking with teammates at Queensland Under 17 City girls training. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL
Kaylah talking with teammates at Queensland Under 17 City girls training. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL

“After I didn’t make it, I wasn’t expecting anything,” Kaylah said.

“Then all of a sudden they called my mum and my mum texted me to tell me but I was like, ‘nah, you’re lying.’

“But it was good. I was very excited. I’ve played school sport and stuff but I’ve never made something like this.

“Obviously I was upset when I didn’t make it so being called up was really exciting for me.”

Kaylah Maloney. Photo: Scott Davis/QRL
Kaylah Maloney. Photo: Scott Davis/QRL

Kaylah, who will be one of the youngest players to take to the field at Moreton Daily Stadium on Saturday, certainly impressed selectors throughout the trial process and will now pair with Sienna Lofipo in the halves.

The Logan Brothers talent has been playing the game since she was 13.

Making this year’s City side means so much to her because she always viewed 2022 as her year to take that next step.

“I was trying to make things this year,” Kaylah said.

“Obviously I was really excited when I made it (into the larger squad) so after I didn’t make it the first time, I was like, 'at least I had the opportunity to try to make it in'.

“I’m just at that age. Last year I was just getting into everything and this year I wanted to make it more.

“It’s about the experience and the knowledge as well. There’s a lot of girls that have been playing this sport for ages so it’s really good to play with them and to gain knowledge for myself. I’m already learning a lot of things, which is good.

“I’ve learnt about teamwork and the little skills, like what I can do to be a better player.”

‘Want to prove what we can do’: City's Sienna Lofipo

Despite her desire to make the line-up, Kaylah has admitted she is feeling the nerves ahead of Saturday.

But she is tapping into that vast experience around her, particularly from coach Deanna Turner, Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons head coach Tahnee Norris, and prop Rilee Jorgensen.

She said those three, as well as a few other players, are helping her build up her self-confidence so she is firing and ready to go come Saturday.

“The half has to communicate a lot and set up a lot of things and if you don’t do that, no one knows what they’re doing,” Kaylah said.

“I’m excited but it’s a lot of pressure.

“Tahnee and Dee have been really good. My first training it was a bit overwhelming but they were just supporting me and telling me it’s all good.

“Rilee was one of the main people who was telling me I’ve got this and helping me through that training session.

“I’m expecting it to be a tough competition. You just have to expect the unexpected. It could be anything but I’ll go out there, give it my all, play my game and play as a team.”

The game will be live on

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