Dream becomes a reality for Lauren Young

PORT ADELAIDE has signed talented tall Lauren Young as part of the Expansion U18 Talent Pathway Pre-Signing Period. 

The teams included in the most recent wave of NAB AFLW expansion – Port Adelaide, Sydney, Hawthorn and Essendon – have the option to pre-sign up to three players who have come through each respective club’s academy, prior to the NAB AFLW Draft in December. 

Touted as a possible number one draft pick for this year, Young already boasts a long list of accolades, at just 18 years of age. 

In 2021, at 15 years old, she was named the best and fairest in the SANFLW, as well as South Australian MVP and All-Australian following the Under 19 National Championships. 

In the same year, Young also won the SANFLW’s breakthrough player award and coaches’ award, before a devastating ACL injury in pre-season training stopped her in her tracks. 

After a gruelling 12 months of rehabilitation, Young returned to the SANFLW in 2023, averaging 18.9 disposals, 4.5 marks and kicking nine goals. 

She participated in a winning under 18 national championships campaign, making the All-Australian team for the second time, and polling equal-third in the championship MVP voting. 

At 178-centimetres, the Henley High product is a versatile footballer, who as predominantly played a mix of forward and midfield. 

Young was one of four academy players invited to train with Port Adelaide’s AFLW side this year, joining the group for one session per week. 

Lauren Young pictured with her family at Hisense Stadium