THE Champions IGA Central Victoria Football League Women marks another first in this Sunday’s gala day at Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval.
A group of 23 players drawn from the five clubs in the Champions IGA CVFL women’s competition will play inter-league for the first time.
Unbeaten and on top of the ladder, Bendigo Thunder had 13 players selected in the squad of 24 to play the MBCM Northern Country Women’s League on Sunday from 4.30pm at the QEO.
The Champions IGA CVFL team will be coached by Golden Square’s gun midfielder-forward Hamish Morcom.
After several weeks of planning, coach feedback and watching matches, Morcom said a final squad of 24 was chosen.
A setback was Bendigo Thunder’s Miliana Naicori being ruled out because of injury.
“We have a great group of players who are looking forward to the challenge of inter-league football,” Morcom said.
“A key in selection was having a fair amount of versatility.
“Some of the girls may be the number one on-baller, forward or defender for their club, but in Sunday’s match they may start on a flank or in pocket.
“All are ready for the challenge and determined to do what they can to achieve team success.”
Key players for the Central Victoria line-up include Bendigo Thunder clubmates Rochelle Daley in defence, and Jacqueline Radnell in midfield.
“Rochelle is likely to start at centre half-back and her leadership skills are a huge plus.
“Jacqueline may not say a lot on the field, but her actions inspire team-mates.
“A lot of team-mates see what she does and try to emulate the way she plays.
“Jacqueline sets a great example in every contest.”
Morcom said some players had made their way into the final 23 by their play in recent weeks.
“Alisha Lourie was not in the initial squad, but her play in the past three rounds, and the past two games for North Bendigo meant she earned a place in our inter-league team.”
In the lead-up to his first match as main coach in an inter-league game, Morcom said a major focus was on the team’s style of play, more so than the opposition.
“Being first to get our hands on the football, quick movement of the ball to the forward line, and maintaining possession are key areas,” Morcom said.
“Turnovers will happen, but it’s limiting the number of them, when they happen and where they happen that will be important.
“All of the players, coaches, support staff and the league are looking forward to the contest.”
A training session for the Champions IGA CVFL team will be run this Friday at Kangaroo Flat’s Dower Park and will be followed by a meal and jumper presentation.
A big day of women’s football action at the QEO this Sunday kicks off with the Northern Football League division one match between Bendigo Thunder and Whitehorse at noon, and then the VFLW clash between Richmond and Casey Demons from 2.30pm.
Champions IGA Central Victoria Football League women’s inter-league team:
Taylor Bellesini, Tiffany Bradley, Rochelle Daley, Kate Hare, Carly Isaac, Beppina Marshall, Sarah Moerke, Miliana Naicori, Carly McRae, Molly Metcalf, Jacqueline Radnell, Ebony Whiley and, Emma Windridge (Bendigo Thunder). Heidi Erasmus, Corrinne Harris, Christa Lingen (Kangaroo Flat); Teagan Ainslie, Natalie Korinfsky (Kyneton); Shaniah Clarke, Alisha Lourie (North Bendigo); Carli Eaton, Rhian Moresi and Donna Slevin (Strathfieldsaye Storm).
Coach: Hamish Morcom.
After last Sunday’s forfeit by Diamond Creek, Bendigo Thunder will be determined to improve on its win-loss tally of 8-3.
Thunder is second on the ladder as Keilor leads the race.
Whitehouse is winless in 11 rounds.
Thunder star Andrea Walsh leads the competition goalkicking on 39 and clubmate Isabella Ayre has played well to kick 16.
The Thunder and Whitehorse match will be followed by the VFLW clash between Richmond and Casey Demons at 2.30pm.
Casey scored a 21-10 victory in last Saturday’s round nine match against St Kilda.
The Richmond Tigers will be determined to bounce back from a 34-26 loss to Essendon at Windy Hill.
It was Essendon’s first victory in the VFLW.
Richmond goes into Sunday’s match in Bendigo on a win-loss record of 3-5, and a rung above Casey which has a 3-4 record.
Richmond has forged a strong alignment with Bendigo Thunder in recent years.