Melton Centrals are riding high and undefeated in the AFL Goldfields Women’s competition.
After a few tough years, the Centrals have started the season with six wins from as many matches.
Centrals coach Ray Martin said he was amazed with how the side was going and the passion of the players.
Centrals defeated Darley 12.21 (93)-1.0 (6) on Saturday, a week after downing East Point.
The East Point result was particularly pleasing for Martin.
“We had 18 injuries and I didn’t think we would get a team up,” he said. “We had a few girls come back to help us out.
“I thought we would be competitive against a team which hadn’t conceded a goal.
“Once we kicked the first goal, the girls realised they could do it.”
Martin said it had taken a little while, but the players were learning to play as a team.
He said the players’ enthusiasm about wanting to play with each other was pleasing and that many of them were mums.
He said they had increased training from once a week to twice a week and were getting about 20 players at nearly every session.
“We’ve got two brand new players this week,” he said. “One had a baby 12 weeks ago and has been to training three times.
“Natalie Edwards is a kick boxer. Last week her foot was purple and she still wanted to play.
“They’re a pleasure to coach.”
Off field, Martin said there were a number of people willing to volunteer to help each week – another bonus for the club.
He said that was an area in which the club had struggled in the past.
Against Darley, the Centrals put in a dominant display and led by 39 points at half-time. They extended their lead in the third and fourth quarters.
Jessica Kelly was the star forward, kicking five goals.
While the Centrals are undefeated, they are under no illusions that there’s plenty of challenges ahead.
Their next bunch of matches includes facing the other three sides in the top four.
“We’re going to have to play some of the more physical teams,” Martin said.
“I don’t think we’re a really physical team. We’ve got a team that wants to win and also have a good time, which is the perfect mesh.”
Centrals this week have the bye, with no matches being played on the Queen’s Birthday weekend.
Martin said they were likely to get a few players back from injury after the break.
“The challenge will be dropping girls who have done really well.”
In other AFL Goldfields Women’s results, Melton continued its good form with a
9.9 (63)-2.1 (13) victory against Lake Wendouree.
Bacchus Marsh had a draw with Gisborne, with both teams finishing 2.6 (18).