On Friday night, 18 fierce and fabulous Rovers women got their first taste of AFL footy at VAFA HQ at Elsternwick Park. Only 4 of our team had played a game before! While they went down to St Mary’s Salesian, what the scoreboard didn’t show was the strength, tenacity and infectious excitement of the team supporting each other and giving it a go.
Emerging from the game almost camouflaged in mud, Bianca Lenarcic and Amelia Tsindos took out best on. Bianca always kept up the pressure across the ground, providing valuable leadership when times were tough, and Amelia absolutely slayed the Fallon one-hander ball drop in kick outs, especially when she kicked it to Chloe McLaren, who surely had super glue on her hands.
With many players from the St Mary’s side debuting in the St Kilda Women’s team on Sunday afternoon, our defenders saw most of the footy, and took every single opportunity they had to apply pressure and inspire with second, third and fourth efforts. Led by Nicky Clarke and with Bec Stephens dominating the ruck, our midfield set the pace of the game this was especially the case in the last quarter, when the nerves had settled and it was just time to have a bit of fun. Long kicks were tough on a wet night but our forwards did well in supporting the midfield, creeping up toward the ball, and in the case of Emma Milliken, even entering the opposition 50 to show St Mary’s who was boss. She can be ferocious!
There’s so much that makes a footy team: from the unrelenting screams of encouragement from fellow players on the sidelines to Catherine Devola’s donation of toilet paper to the bereft bathrooms of Sportscover Arena. We have a group of women who support one another, and at the same time can’t wait to front up next week when we take on Old Mentonians at 11.40am on Sunday at the Keysborough playing fields.
by Holly Clark