THERE are positive signs for the potential of a women’s football team in the region after the first women’s training session on Monday night.
More than 25 women were at Horsham College Oval for the training session, with a further nine players registering their interest but unable to attend.
AFL Wimmera-Mallee football development manager Jason Muldoon said the future of the women’s game is promising, with high numbers and good quality football on show.
“Overall we have 33 girls registered, so that is a fantastic effort,” Muldoon said.
“It was all a bit unknown. We didn’t know who was going to turn up but for more than 30 girls to show their interest in playing is absolutely fantastic.
“It’s all about enjoyment. We want them to enjoy themselves so at some stage they will want to come back and give football a go.”
Amy Shrive and Jess Cannane enjoyed the chance to hit the training track with the group.
Cannane said it was pleasing to see so many women participate on the night.
“There were lots and lots of numbers which is really good. To get so many people from across different regions is awesome,” she said.
Cannane was impressed with the quality of football on display throughout the session.
“We definitely have a very good foundation. You can see that these girls come from sporting backgrounds, so the hand-eye coordination is already there,” she said.
Shrive said it had been a while since she last had the opportunity to play football.
This is the start of something big for the Wimmera-Mallee region.Jason Muldoon
“It’s wonderful to get out and have a kick with a group of girls again. The numbers are pretty impressive for the first time,” she said.
The future of women’s football in the region is still somewhat unknown, with Muldoon hoping to see local clubs get on board.
“We’d like the future to be at club level,” he said.
“We’d love to be able to split the groups and push one group to Horsham and one to Horsham Saints.
“I would imagine after all this publicity we may get a few extra girls who come along. The important thing about tonight was gathering information and seeing which girls were willing to turn up and committed to maybe playing in a competition.”
Regardless of the future of women’s football in the Wimmera, Muldoon said this first training session was certainly an exciting development.
“It really is satisfying and full credit to the girls. This is the start of something big for the Wimmera-Mallee region.”