Westmeadows will field a women’s team in the Essendon District Football League for the first time next year.
The club has had junior girls’ sides in the competition for the past two seasons and sees the introduction of a women’s side as the next step after an increase in interested players.
This time two years ago, Westmeadows had just three under-15 players keen to play but managed to get a team together. This year it went from 24 girls to 69 and expanded from one girls’ team to three.
Matt Walker, a former Westmeadows player, will coach the women’s side.
“I came back to the club this year and helped out Grant Smith with the under-19s, which won the premiership,” Walker said.
“I help out with the [Westmeadows] cricket girls and a few of the girls said I should apply for the [football] role and I put in for it.
“What got me over the line of wanting to be involved was the girls wanting me to coach.”
Walker said the club already had good numbers interested in playing.
He said for many players, the weekly competition gives them a break from the daily grind.
“We had a rego/information day and got a few numbers,” Walker said. “The numbers were encouraging.
“We’ve got 10-15 players committed and another 10 who we’ve heard are keen from word of mouth.”
Walker said the club was keen to focus on creating a pathway between the girls’ side and the women’s team.
“Our under-12s and under-15s both played finals this year and had good seasons,” he said.
“My plan is to work with the under-18s coach and, anyone who shows some talent, we’ll get them playing a couple of games in the seniors, like they do with the men’s teams.
“We’re got potential to hopefully grow into a strong side in a few years’ time.”
The women’s side starts training this week and will have a few sessions before Christmas.
They will play in a stand-alone EDFL women’s competition.
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