THREE clubs joined forces on Sunday to put together a women’s football exhibition match at Horsham’s Coughlin Park.
The Horsham Saints played against the Horsham Demons and South Warrnambool, who mixed and matched players to ensure the game went ahead.
Saints caretaker coach Mat Taylor said it was fantastic to see the game go ahead after months of discussions surrounding the future of the female game in the region.
“I think it was great they all played football, had a bit of fun and there were plenty of cars there and spectators,” he said.
“They were all very competitive and I think they all played their positions well. It was an open game and the ones that had played before really helped those who hadn’t. They are playing footy because they love it and it was a pretty good spectacle.”
The Saints team ran away with a win, boosted by the inclusions of some Greater Western Victorian Rebels players.
Horsham Saints co-captain Shannon Reinheimer said it was fantastic to get out onto the field.
“It was great to finally get out and play a game after training every week for the last few months,” she said.
“We were very nervous before the game but once we got out there we had a great time. We had about 20 against 20 and everyone played a full game of football.
“I was surprised by the standard – all the girls were taking good marks, tackling and kicking to targets.”
The Demons and South Warrnambool played as a combined team with both sides having multiple players unavailable.
South Warrnambool coach Alicia Drew said it the three clubs all helped each other out.
“We spoke to everyone during the week and we all just wanted the players to have a run,” she said.
“We would love to have a league next year, but that would take a lot of work.”
The Saints will now be travelling down to Warrnambool this weekend to play against South Warrnambool.
“We are pretty excited to have the Saints come down to Warrnambool this week too,” Drew said.
Taylor said after the Warrnambool game this weekend the clubs would look at future possibilities for the female game.
“It will be interesting to see what the AFL does – there are always great numbers at the start and then people drop off,” he said.
“We will wait and see what happens, but we are just happy to see all of them in the jumper finally. At this stage the Saints will be travelling to Warrnambool, but if any Demons players want to come with us they can. After that game we will keep talking and might play another game.”