LAHARUM will embark on its quest for back-to-back Horsham District Football League premierships with a new chairwoman at the helm.
Nadine Miller will head the football-netball club next year after being elected to the position late last month.
She replaces outgoing chairman Cameron Mibus, who served for three years.
She has previously been Horsham District Netball Association president.
Miller is the second woman in the history of the league to be elected as head of a football-netball club.
Rupanyup’s Jan Dunlop was the first when she became president of the Panthers in April.
Miller said she had a tough challenge ahead of her as Laharum tried to keep its football side strong and build up its netball side.
“It will be a different set of challenges – I’ve got a fair bit in front of me and we’re coming off a premiership so I want to build up our seconds and our netball side as well,” she said.
“We’ve recruited fairly well and I think everyone has to put in the same effort as what we did last year if we want to have the same success.”
Miller said she was happy to help break the mould of male-dominated presidency in football clubs.
She said the competition landscape was changing and with the integration of football and netball clubs, there were more families around.
“I think football – and especially the District League – has become more family-orientated so women are more accepted into the clubrooms,” she said.
“In our hierarchy we’ve nearly got more women on the board than we have men.
“Overall I think it’s a family sport and I think men have accepted that.”
Miller said the club’s junior football program would continue to be emphasised, with the under-17 side coming off a premiership under coach Brian Burke.
She said strong junior teams were vital to the club’s success, with only five of this year’s premiership players having been brought in from outside Laharum.
The Mountain Men have also signed new assistant coach Oliver Braithwaite from Wimmera league side Dimboola.
Braithwaite said he looked forward to undertaking his first coaching role and believed he could help Laharum develop some of its young senior players.
The speedy midfielder said it was a tough decision to leave Dimboola – where he had played for his whole career – but said he had no regrets after winning a senior premiership with the side this year.
“I work with the coach Marcus Demaria and we’ve spoken footy a fair bit this season so he and a few of the other Laharum boys tried to convince me to come across,” he said.
“They’re such a good group of guys – it made the move a lot easier to make in the end.”