HISTORY will be made in women’s football tonight when the Sunraysia League meet Broken Hill at the Mildura Sporting Precinct.
It will be the first time the two leagues have clashed in Mildura following the inaugural game played in Broken Hill in 2017, a game that Sunraysia won.
The teams will be playing for the Mildura Health Fund Cup.
The organistaion has offices in both Mildura and Broken Hill and actively supports the sport and the role of females in the AFL.
The growth of women’s football has led to these matches between different leagues as the spike in female participation soars.
The women’s competition started in Broken Hill in 2012 with games played each Saturday during the regular football season.
“It has been huge for our league,” said AFL Broken Hill chairman Andrew Schmidt.
“The female footprint has now extended as we have established a Youth Girls competition to complement the women’ senior league.
“As a competition we look at ever opportunity for the girls to test themselves against other leagues and this is a great initiative thanks to the Mildura Health Fund.”
The Broken Hill side will be drawn from the four clubs with some classy players making the trip South.
“The quality runs deep,” Schmidt said.
“In the mid-field Hannah Muscat and Bec Deer are twwo of our stars we have some height with Sophie Palmer, goal scoring potential with Mel Keenan and a solid defence led by Abbey Stevens.
“It should be a great contest.
AFL Sunraysia’s Dave Kennedy said the Sunraysia side has a good mix of young guns and also experienced players.
“We are hoping to get good midfield drive from players such as Jemmika Douglas and Emma Daley that creates opportunities for our forwards in Courtney Sandiman and Sienna Charles,” he said.
The Sunraysia girls are looking forward to testing themselves against the Broken Hill team.
Jason Wilkie is the coach of the team and the Sunraysia team have already benefitted greatly from his football knowledge and also his ability to communicate this through his training sessions.
AFL Sunraysia are also looking forward to hosting St Kilda’s AFLW captain and local football product Hannah Priest for training and on game day.
Priest attended school and grew up in Werrimull, a town which hosts a team by the same name in the SWFL competition.
The match is not just about football as both leagues look to build a relationship.
“ There is the on-field battle between Broken Hill and Sunraysia but just as important is that social connection and hopefully we will see a return match in Broken Hill in 2023 for the Mildura Health Fund Cup, “ Schmidt said.
The game will commence at 6:30pm with both teams being hosted by the Gateway Hotel post -match.
ABOVE: Captain of the Sunraysia team, Jemma Johnson, with Hannah Priest.
PHOTOS SUPPLIED BY JENNY DONNELLY.