HARROW-BALMORAL Football Netball Club held its first girls football training session on Sunday morning in the lead up to its participation in the Deakin University Female Football League.
This will be the first time Harrow-Balmoral have had a girls football team compete in the league, which was formed last year.
The Southern Roos will be competing against teams from places such as Horsham, Hamilton, Warrnambool, Portland and Port Fairy.
Coach Tom Austin said the first training session went well and that there was plenty of interest surrounding the team.
“It was good, we had our first session with six on the track and a few absentees,” he said.
“Quite a few girls are in Ballarat for school and have sporting commitments. It’s always hard with weekend training but you have to start somewhere and it was a really good feeling.”
Austin was pleased with the skill level on show throughout the session.
For those who don’t play netball it is another avenue for them to realise their sporting dreams.Tom Austin
“The girls got through the preliminary drills and handled the ball pretty well, so I was very impressed,” he said.
“We will have a full side and once the summer sport commitments are completed we will be well on our way. We have good numbers and there has been some good interest.”
Girls football has grown in the last 12 months, with the start of the Deakin University league and women’s football sides in Horsham.
Austin said it was great for the club to be able to give girls the opportunity to play football this year.
“It’s very exciting for the club and gives the girls a new platform,” he said.
“For those who don’t play netball it is another avenue for them to realise their sporting dreams. It brings more people into the club who have other children wanting to play as well.”
Austin said he was a new coach and hoped the girls would enjoy their football in their first season involved with the competition.
“The main thing is for them to have fun and participate,” he said.
“As a new coach I’m learning as I’m going along and can hopefully give the girls a platform to develop and grow. The first year is always the hardest so we will be further ahead 12 months down the track.”
Harrow-Balmoral club president Rosemary Langley said it was great to see the excitement on the football field.
“They were very excited and as the season gets closer it will become more of a reality. With the popularity of women’s football and while we have the junior numbers we are keen to try it,” she said.
With the Hamilton Kangaroos wearing the same coloured football jumpers as Harrow-Balmoral’s traditional blue and white striped jumpers, the girls side will have to wear a different jumper throughout the season.
“It’s pretty disappointing we can’t wear our club colours, but they are a founding club of the league so they have right of way over us,” Ms Langley said.
“We have put in to the organising committee that we wear a different jumper, and we are hoping to have the design confirmed, if not we will have to come up with a new one.
“It will still have our kangaroo on the front and with blue colours but it’s a completely different jumper.”
Harrow-Balmoral start their season against Portland Tigers in Portland on April 15.