Whittlesea will field a women’s football team in the Northern Football League next season.
The Eagles failed to get a women’s team up and running last season but now have the numbers to field a team before pre-season starts.
Eagles secretary AJ Stewart said they were thrilled with the interest in the team so far.
“Last year we had interest and tried to start a team, but we couldn’t get the numbers up,” he said.
“We had a full pre-season, but we couldn’t get there. A lot went to play at other clubs.
“This year we have more than 40 girls interested.”
Stewart said the women’s side was the next step for the club, which has had junior teams the past few years. J
arrod Kendall has been appointed the Eagles’ women’s coach.
He said it was an exciting opportunity.
“I was doing an assistant coach role at another club [Mernda] and this opportunity come about.
“The challenge of coaching my own side – It’s exciting to try and help get this off the ground.
The more women involved in football the better.”
Speaking before the side’s first training session last Tuesday, Kendall said he had been thrilled with the numbers they had so far.
He said there had been a big push on social media to try and get people involved.
“We’ve got about 40-45 players interested,” he said.
“I’ve used some of my contacts and we’ve got a lot from the community and Kinglake area.”
He said a third of the playing group had never played before.
“We’re not starting from scratch,” he said.
“They have a really good junior program with under-18s and under-16s the last couple of years.
“It’s a chance for the under-18 girls to step up. There’s seven to eight girls who are stepping up, that is a massive advantage for us as they have played for two to three years.”
Both Stewart and Kendall said it would be good for the club environment to have the women around the club
Kendall said they didn’t have any expectations heading into the pre-season.
“You always want to have success, but until we see what we have, it’s about giving women the opportunity to play.
“I’ve seen sides in the past come in and play finals in their first season. It’s a pretty exciting time for the club with the men’s side back in division 1, hopefully teh women can see some success as well.”