Eagles hit the coast for inaugural Women’s clash
Saturday July 6 marks a significant date in the AFL Central West calendar, the inaugural AFL CW Women’s inter-league fixture. The team of 20, coached by Jayarna Kay and assisted by Luke Le Page have been set up for success and are aiming to leave their mark on the South Coast. Regarding the weekend’s fixture, Ms Kay said “we are just really excited and proud to be representing our league, clubs, and communities. The girls are pumped to be able to show Sapphire Coast what the Central West can produce.” Nowra Showground Oval plays host to the match showcasing the best of both league’s talented female athletes.
The team is strong and although the loss of Eloise Hiller-Stanbrook to the Eastern Allies Under-18s side hurts, there is still an abundance of talent. “Our spine, consisting of Bethanie Durham, Danita Lane, and Seeanna Lindsay is certainly going to be a key strength” Kay added. In addition to the clear strength of these players, the midfield has several players to watch as well. Tamara Thompson, Jacqui Harris and Donalee Delahunty will expect to break even, if not win their midfield battle. Le Page agreed, saying “I am excited to see how it all comes together on Saturday, particularly the midfield battle.”
The girls have trained twice in the lead-up to the match to best prepare for the contest. Although a new concept for the ladies team, many have played representative sport prior to switching to AFL. The focus has been on developing a structure as a team and the two training sessions have encouraged this. Ms Kay, when discussing the training sessions stated the intent for the players to find their position in the team and then use game-based scenarios to help find their structure. Mr Le Page has witnessed this first-hand and acknowledged the development of the team through these sessions. “Coach Jayarna Kay has had the team working tirelessly and all of her hard work has been paying dividends.”
The team has a mix of players relatively new to the game in addition to more experienced campaigners. “Our centre structure is looking strong with Katie Kennedy (VC) and Jemma Neuman bringing a great amount of AFL experience and leadership.” These players will be important to settle the nerves and get the game off to a positive start. Although many are in their early AFL years, there are a considerable amount who have played representative sport, if not AFL. This stage won’t be new to most, however it will be the first time on the AFL stage for the majority.
Captain Amy Symons, like all around her has a sense of excitement for Saturday. “I’m very excited about this weekend. It’s an amazing opportunity for us to be a part of. After having our couple of training sessions together and seeing the girls bond I have no doubt we will be a strong and competitive team.”
The match begins at 1pm. Following the Women’s match, our Youth Girls verse Sapphire Coast as part of the Shoalhaven Junior Carnival.
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