IN Meringur Football and Netball Club’s Sunraysia Women’s Football League side you would struggle to find two players more dedicated, loyal and passionate than Emma Bosworth and Sonya Newson.

Bosworth, who last week celebrated her 50th game with Meringur, and Newson, who will this week play in her 50th match for the Roos, share a sense of enthusiasm when they speak about their beloved club.

They’ve been through thick and thin with the club – and together on the field as friends – but it’s only made their friendship stronger.

“The girls have had to persist a lot longer than some at other clubs to get to this milestone, given the clubs lack of on field success,” Adam Astill, from the football and netball club, said.

“Being part of the women’s side since the inaugural season, both women have played in only four winning games in that time – three of those coming in the one year.

“Both are good friends, even before their time at the club, and use the other as motivation to keep going.”

To the credit of both players, they have been selected as part of the interleague squad for this season, which has given them both the opportunity to continue to develop their skills.

Chatting with the two you wouldn’t know that wins have been hard to come by – both this season and in previous seasons for the Roos.
They both can’t speak highly or positively enough of the club, their coach Mick Brown, the game and their teammates.

And it’s refreshing that to this pair, winning clearly isn’t everything.

Both girls could have left the club to go elsewhere, perhaps to a more decorated and successful team, they could have not bothered to find the motivation to return to the game when COVID depleted the season … but they didn’t.

“When asked during the preseason if going elsewhere was an option, both of them said that they wouldn’t play anywhere else,” Astill said.

It’s a description that is arguably overused when it comes to clubs and groups – “family”, but to Bosworth and Newson, that is exactly what the club and more specifically their team, is.

The friendship between the pair spans more than 10 years as they were friends before they became teammates.

Neither had played football before (and in actual fact they hadn’t even entertained the idea) before they found themselves at training.

But since that day neither have looked back admitting they look forward to game day every week.

“It gets you out of the house,” Newson began.

“… and you get to catch up with everyone,” Bosworth finished.

Bosworth, a ruck, was convinced to give football a go by a friend, and now she said, “15 weeks of the year is about football”.

For Newson, who plays center, her two daughters drew her to play at the club, although at first she thought she would be too old.

Now, Newson said, she is the fittest she has been in her life, and neither she or Bosworth have plans of hanging up the boots in the future.

The duo would like new players to join their team – and said they are an all inclusive side, who would welcome the biggest, diverse range of people, no matter their background, fitness or skill level.

In return for pulling on the blue and white jumper, the pair said you’ll gain a bunch of friends and plenty of encouragement on the field, all while being active and improving fitness.

While goals aren’t excessive on the scoreboard for the team, the girls are clearly kicking goals when it comes to the team culture and environment, which is often half the battle when it comes to sporting sides, so if you’ve ever been curious as to playing football, now’s the time to give it a go.

– ZOEY ANDREWS