Team : Under 12 Girls
Hampton Rovers Girls U12
Girls football took centre stage at Boss James on Saturday March 23 with the South Metro Junior Football Leagues annual Chick Kick Day. Numbers trickled in and we ended with approximately 70 girls on the day, which was a good turn out to start the season. The event was conducted with the help of the SMJFLs community partner, the Melbourne Football Club, to promote and develop Youth Girls football. Football clinics and mini-matches were run with the support of the St.Kilda Sharks. It was a successful day and a great way to create momentum going into Season 3 of girls footy at the Rovers.
The U12 Rovers girls started their regular season on Saturday April 13 and went through the home and away season undefeated we did have one draw! We competed in the annual lightening premiership and, even though the results went against us on a difficult day, the girls had fun. In girls football the emphasis is on fun, fitness and friendship, that said, the girls still want to win!
The team unit was strong, with natural leaders stepping up to support the younger girls week in week out. For some girls this is their third season of football and it shows. We welcomed back some girls that had taken a year off and they returned as if they had missed no football at all. We also welcomed some new players and we hope they enjoyed their first year of football.
Standing on the sidelines and watching the girls play a certain brand of footy where they make position, use their voices and improve their basic skills was a highlight. I am sure I speak on behalf of all the supporters.
We trained on Friday afternoon and shared Boss James with the U12 boys. What a great tween experience! As the season gained momentum, we were playing practice matches with the U12 boys. Thanks to Marty Charlton and his open mindedness, his welcoming approach to footy and his commitment to the Rovers. The awareness, the innate skills that boys possess and the commitment they have to their mates is what the girls want and believe they now have. The girls are keen, they are determined and they are passionate.
It is important that we as a club provide an environment where the players feel accepted, they learn and improve their skills and have the opportunity to play in all positions so as to have a deeper understanding of the game.
With the support of the club and the community, Hampton Rovers could very easily put forward skilful, fit and accomplished young female players to play representative football. There are more and more opportunities for talented Youth Girls to play representative football including interleague competitions.
In girls football, the toughest component is retention. In most cases if the coach has mentored a player well enough, then the player will return next season for more of the same. However, as we have seen over the years, girls battle the demands of a lot of different commitments and, for some, football has been the activity that has been dropped.
Football is often dropped in favour of netball and while such a decision makes sense, as a coach it is hard not to be a little disappointed when a talented player is lost to another sport. That disappointment is fleeting though when you realise that the club and the player have shared an experience that up until three years ago was not really even option. We are all better for the experience.
As we all know, teams dont operate without volunteers and we were blessed with numbers of supporters each week. Gareth was my right hand man with the rotations and when Jack Campion wasnt playing for the Rovers, he would be right by my side. The girls had a good mix of male and female support and this provided a good emotional balance and deeper understanding of the game for the team.
A roster system, run by the very capable Team Manager in Kathy Naoumidis, made each round manageable and most importantly enjoyable. Three cheers to a great third season of girls footy at the Rovers. Where the girls all wear the gold and the green
Assistant Coach: Jack Campion