Gisborne is set to have four female football sides this season, with the introduction of a junior girls team.

Having introduced a women’s side last season, to go along with its youth girls teams, the club has decided to take the next step in the pathway.

Through its two clubs, Gisborne and Gisborne Rookies, they will now have junior girls, two youth girls sides and a women’s side taking to the field. Bulldogs’ Darren Mitchell said it looked like there would be good numbers for all four sides.

“There’s been a lot of interest through primary school kids and we had a couple come and try days and had 35 kids come down,” he said.

“We’re really confident in getting a team up and going. Even though we lost three or four girls who are too old for youth girls, we had plenty of numbers.”

Mitchell said they had more than 20 players already for the women’s side and hoped that there would be a few more interested players.

He said it didn’t matter if players had experience or were looking to play for the first time.

Mitchell said the number one focus for the club in the early days was to make sure it was an inclusive side and developed players’ skills.

The women’s side made finals in its first season, while one of the Bulldogs youth league girls team took out the Riddell Youth Girls premiership with an undefeated season.

All the Bulldogs sides will again play in AFL Goldfields competitions.

Mitchell said the club considered moving to a new Bendigo-based competition, but decided to stick with its existing competition.

He said the aim was to continue building on last season.

“We outperformed our expectations last season,” he said. “We’re looking to go better this year.”

All three coaches from last season have been reappointed, and the club is still looking for a junior coach.

All three sides train on Thursday nights at JD Clifford Reserve in Macedon.

The youth girls and women also train Tuesday nights.

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