Bendigo Pioneers coach Danny O’Bree said it was a priority of his for the Bendigo Pioneers to show Sunraysia some love, prompting his visit to Mildura recently.
He started his official role as Pioneers coach on the Tuesday and was in the area within days to catch up with academy coaches, some “good footy people within the region”, and most importantly he said, the players.
O’Bree recognises there is talent within Sunraysia and said it is definitely something he plans to investigate further.
“I’ve been recommended a few girls from a few people, but really that is probably just the tip of the iceberg – there’s no doubt a few girls who have been playing football, or even girls who have been playing other sports that want to play football that have some serious talent,” O’Bree said.
“So it’s definitely something I want to look at further.”
There are a number of Sunraysia girls who have pulled on the Pioneers jumper this season and O’Bree said they have been performing well.
“They all have different strengths to their game and we have certainly seen those different strengths,” he added.
The Pioneers have had an inconsistent season when it comes to getting wins on the board, with O’Bree describing it as a “roller-coaster”.
“We spoke about this after the game last Saturday,” O’Bree said.
“There have been some really good peaks, but then there have been some really low troughs.
“We just need to narrow that gap and be a bit more consistent and I think that comes with having consistently high standards with training.”
Given girls can excel in the Pioneers environment, O’Bree said there is now a really clear pathway for girls to reach the elite level of football.
“There’s the NAB League, then you have the VFLW and then the AFLW,” O’Bree said.
“The beauty of the Pioneers at the moment is we have such a great such a great relationship with Essendon in the VFLW and they are going to be playing a couple of our girls in the coming weeks.”
He said the Pioneers have had three girls training with the Essendon team and the club keeps introducing new girls to the VFLW team all the time.