Tragedy as AFL star Samara Whitney, 16, dies suddenly as club pays tribute to 'pocket rocket' player | The Sun

A RISING football star has died suddenly at the age of 16.

Samara Whitney played for Australia's Wynyard Football Club in Tasmania.

She has been described as a "pocket rocket" on the field in emotional tributes.

Samara, who was part of the AFL's Tasmania Devils program, died on Tuesday. Her cause of death has not been revealed.

Wynyard FC said: "[Samara was] a vibrant & loveable young lady who has made her mark at the WFC as a passionate and talented player, who had a big future ahead of her.

“Our young gun, our pocket rocket, our number 2 … such a positive influence for all. Someone who had a great connection with both our club and the wider community. This will last forever.

“A true star who shone bright both inside and out.

“We thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey and for bringing so much light (and) joy into so many lives.”

Samara attended Marist Regional College and joined Wynyard FC several years ago.

She had been playing in the Senior Women’s Premiership side this year.

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Her principal Gregg Sharman said Samara had a "bright future" ahead of her, reports

He added: "More than football, Samara was a vivacious, charismatic, engaging, friendly, and compassionate student to every person.

“Samara had a bright future in a lot of aspects of her life.

“Our college is deeply saddened and we share our prayers, sympathy and condolences with [her parents] along with their daughters at this time.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support her devastated parents with funeral costs.

Organiser Sasha Burr wrote: "Time has since stood still for her family, friends, school community and sporting clubs as we all begin to grieve and navigate life without our special girl.

"With the permission of Samaras parents Kym and Seton, we have set up this page to assist with giving their daughter a beautiful farewell that she deserves."

So far, well-wishers have donated more than $20,000.

AFL Tasmania hailed Samara as a "beloved member".

A statement said: "AFL Tasmania extends its deepest sympathies to the Wynyard Football Club, North West Football League and Tasmania Devils communities following the sudden passing of Samara Whitney.

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“Samara was a beloved member of the Wynyard Cats and the Tasmania Devils program, having also represented the NWFL in this year’s Women’s All Stars Series.

“Our thoughts are with Samara’s friends, family and members of the Tassie footy community.”

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