The football season may have finished a month ago, but the new season can’t come quick enough for Burnside Heights’ women’s side.

The Bears, who didn’t field a team this season, have been training since July with the aim of having a team next year.

Bears coach Brent Thomas said the women were loving hitting the track and were keen to train right through to the season.

“Women’s football is a testing ground because there’s a lot of numbers coming through,” he said.

“We had 40 to 45 players on the list and this includes 25 to 26 players that have trained right through.

“That is unheard of and we put that down to the club and people wanting to be involved.”

The club already has a coaching panel although Thomas said one of the key elements for the Bears was focusing not just on football.

“There’s a lot of mums in the team an they want to challenge themselves,” he said.

“The focus is on self esteem and self respect, not just the fitness side of things.

“It’s about enjoying yourself and respecting yourself.

“Yes, we’re teaching them about football and we’re taking them out of their comfort zone but it’s also about attitude and making the players feel better about themselves.”

The Bears will play in the Essendon District Football League next season and already have the numbers for a senior team.

Several players have previously played in premierships with Deer Park, adding some experience to the squad.

Thomas said they were also looking at fielding girls’ teams.

He said they had eight to nine under-15 players training with them and four under-18

players and the club was keen to build a side in which those girls could play in.

“We want to build a junior base as well,” he said. “We’ve got plenty of nine-year-olds through to under-11s as they’ve been playing with the boys.”

The Bears got the opportunity to train at Essendon’s state-of-the-art facility at Tullamarine and will again train there on Sunday.

Thomas said it was an amazing opportunity.

The women’s side will train with the men’s side when they start pre-season training on November 13.

Details: Brent, 0414 776 028