A massively improved Hillside team is shining in the Essendon District Football League Women’s competition.

After winning just three games last season, the Sharks have already won two games in the premier division this season.

Sharks coach Justin Fairservice said the players were the driving force.

“The girls have worked really hard,” he said. “They’re a lot stronger and fitter and it’s a credit to them.

“Most have played 17 games now and they love football – it’s fantastic.”

On paper, the Sharks had one of the tougher starts to the season, facing three of the past season’s top four in the first four rounds.

They beat new-look reigning premier Pascoe Vale, copped a big loss to Westmeadows and took it up to the Sunbury Kangaroos in round three.

On Sunday, Hillside was too good for Craigieburn, winning 15.12 (102)-1.1 (7).

Speaking before the weekend’s game, Fairservice said he was thrilled.

“It’s been really good and to get that first-up win against Pascoe Vale, the premiers of last season, is really great,” he said.

“Against the Sunbury Kangaroos we lost by 84 points last time, while it was 24 point this year.

“That’s a 10-goal improvement. We were five points down at half-time and we were rapt.”

Fairservice said the Sharks’ group was similar to that of last season, having lost about five players and added about 10. He said it was encouraging that they were attracting new players.

The improvement means increased expectations. While last year was about learning the game and maybe getting some wins along the way, this year there is a strong focus on taking things to the next level.

“We would like to stay in premier division,” Fairservice said. “We think we deserve to be there. We’re going in expecting to win a few games.

“It’s a different feeling to last season … a good feeling.”

In other results, Burnside Heights lost 9.15 (69)-1.2 (8) to Keilor.

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