It’s been far too long in between kicks, but football returned to Sunraysia at a competitive level on Saturday for the Sunraysia Women’s Football League pre-season.
Played at Sarah Oval, Mildura, all six teams had two hit outs for the day, giving them an indication of where the girls were at before the start of the season next month.
Bambill, Cardross and Werrimull formed the first playing pool, while Gol Gol, Meringur and Nangiloc took to the field Saturday afternoon.
Bambill, the reigning premiers, fielded a side less experienced than what we have previously seen from the club but have good numbers heading into the upcoming season.
Coach Luke Hubble said the fact the side have a lot of younger players coming through is exciting.
“Saturday wasn’t too bad,” Hubble summarised.
“We still have a lot of work to do, particularly around fitness and skills and we will continue to focus on this in the lead up to the season.”
At Cardross, joint coaches Chelsea Humphrey and Ian Sandiman were impressed with the girls efforts.
“Overall, it was a great effort from the girls given a lot are new and have not played together, nor have the girls played a game a in a year,” Humphrey said.
“All the new players came into the team really well and fitted straight in.
“We are looking forward to the upcoming season to see how the team continues to develop.”
Coach of Werrimull, Matt Carter, said there were a lot of good to come out of the two games his girls played.
“It was a very positive day seeing footy back and the girls running around having fun,” Carter said.
The Magpie girls will continue to work on their fitness in the lead-up to their season opening game against Cardross.
At Gol Gol, it’s also looking positive, with Peta Milne, who assists with coaching of the girls team, saying the group performed well on Saturday.
“The girls shared the ball around and worked together as a team,” Milne said.
“They weren’t afraid also to get in and fight for the ball.”
Milne said over the next few weeks the group will be working on fitness, positioning and versatility.
Meringur coach Mick Brown said although light on numbers, the club managed to pull together a side for the games on Saturday.
“The heat certainly had an impact on the girls, as it would have for all teams,” Brown said.
“But it was certainly a good thing for those girls who haven’t played football before to have a run and we were able to try those who have in a few different positions which was great.”
New Nangiloc coach Samantha Bice said the heat also impacted her team, but given that, they set up really well.
“I didn’t have a game plan, I just told them to go out and enjoy being out there with a team environment again,” Bice said.
“We had some great feedback from other clubs.
“We definitely need to focus on setting up some structure for individual players and areas of the game.
“I’d love to see the girls go in with a lot more pressure, they have it in them and now they have that feeling of being on the field again I think we have a lot to look forward to.
“They all have individual feedback from the game so now we need to put it into action.”
Bice said the whole league looked great and while she is sure all clubs will be ready for Round One, Saturday gave all coaches a better understanding of what they need to improve on.