Magpies eye premiership hat-trick

DEFEATED just once across two seasons, Castlemaine will be eyeing a premiership hat-trick in this year’s Champions IGA-backed Central Victoria FL senior women’s footy action.

It’s a new-look in ’24 as Marong, Sandhurst and White Hills are all league newcomers, and Strathfieldsaye drops out.

The Panthers, Dragons and Demons face a big challenge against the likes of the Castlemaine Magpies, Woorinen Tigers, Eaglehawk, Bendigo Thunder and Golden Square.

First round will be played on April 7.

Premiers of ’22 and ’23, Castlemaine is again the team to beat.

The Magpies won last year’s decider against Woorinen by 17 points.

In ’22 it was Castlemaine which beat Golden Square, 38-19, to claim the CVFL senior women’s flag.

Bendigo Thunder

After missing last year’s finals action, Bendigo Thunder’s been busy bolstering its squad.

The club has appointed Mick McInnes who led Echuca from 2017 to 2019 led Echuca to be senior coach.

In 2023 the Thunder achieved a win-loss tally of 5-7 to be fifth.

Newcomers for Thunder include Tracey Anderson, Emily Galtieri and Jessica Jackson from Strathfieldsaye; Marnie Gudge, Faith Reed and Laura Stilo from Golden Square.

The club has also signed Ultima’s Emily Button; Lucy El Hage from Warrnambool Blues, and talented youngsters Kiera Cook from White Hills and Jemma Rooney from Kangaroo Flat juniors.

Thunder will be aiming to strike at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park in the opening round match on April 7.

The Thunder and Hawks showdown will start at 12.45pm.


The Jordan Cochrane-coached Magpies have dominated most contests the past two years.

The hunger is there as Castlemaine’s line-up chases a rare feat of premiership hat-trick.

Last year’s grand final clash with Woorinen ended up going Castlemaine’s way, 32-15, and capped a 14-nil season.

Best for the Magpies in that match were Aisling Tupper, Meg Ginnivan, Jemma Finning and Lily den Houting.

Recruits for Castlemaine are Bronte Ashworth, Mount Alexander Falcons; Jessica Blake, Golden Square; Brianna Burt, Bendigo Thunder; Rachael Stubbings, Geelong Amateur; and Maeve Tupper, Strathfieldsaye.

The club has also had Chelsea Cole, Shania and Shelby Kitchingham and Lori Whaley make the move from Castlemaine Junior Football Club.

The Magpies start their season against Sandhurst on April 7 at Mercy Junortoun Sports Precinct off McIvor Road.

The seniors match starts at 1pm.


The Molly Metcalf and Geoff West-coached Eaglehawk put in a brilliant effort to reach last year’s preliminary final.

A win-loss tally of 8-4 meant the Hawks ended the home-and-away series in third place.

The Borough marked a 59-36 win against Golden Square in the first semi-final, but could not stop Woorinen’s run in the preliminary final.

Best in a 25-33 loss in the preliminary were Grace Edlin, Drew Ryan, Alex Summerfield and Cass Coleman.

There’s plenty of new faces in the Borough’s squad.

Recruits include Shelby Faulkner, Bendigo Thunder; Jorgia Formosa and Lana Westaway, Strathfieldsaye; Abbey Free, Kerang; and Taylah Nicholson, North Bendigo.

The talented Freyja Pearce spent summer playing for Darwin Buffaloes.

Players stepping up from Bendigo Junior FL to play for Eaglehawk are Jess Dover, Sandhurst; Caitlin Evans, White Hills; Dekoda Fitzpatrick and Leilani McGrory, Golden Square; and Lily Hiatt, Sandhurst.

The Hawks also have Taylor Collier, Lavinia Cox, Hayley Fitt, Isabelle James, Neve Nisbet and Gracie Whitfort from their junior program.

Eaglehawk is on home turf at Canterbury Park to play Bendigo Thunder on April 7 at 12.45pm.

Golden Square

A 6-6 record meant the Nathan Manuel-coached Bulldogs were fourth at the end of last season’s home-and-away series.

Manuel is in charge again as the blue and gold fights to hit back from a 36-59 loss to Eaglehawk in the first semi.

Best for the Bulldogs in their final match of ’23 were Keely Hare, Paynton Jolliffe, Katie Walker and Brooke Hards.

After a summer spent playing for Darwin Buffaloes, Liz Watkins will be back to lead Golden Square.

Newcomers are Kate Douglass, Williamstown; Ella Gourley, Carisbrook; and Lahni Stephenson, Strathfieldsaye.

Huge influx of Golden Square juniors for this season.

Kendra Ahearn, Ava Barker, Mackenzie Bickley, Danielle Boldiston, Tiara Davis, Gabrielle Drage, Ruby Demeo, Amy Elletson, Alex Filsell, Lucy Johansen, Lucy Kornmann, Lily Mansfield, Gemma McPhee, Ella Meharry, Keely Milne, Katrina O’Neill, Gemma Roberts, Makayla Roberts, Skye Twitt and Dakota Woodhatch step up to senior level.

After a first-round bye on the weekend of April 6-7, Golden Square takes on Eaglehawk under the Canterbury Park lights from 7.15pm on April 12.


Marong started in Youth Girls Football in 2007 until 2011 with Premierships in 2008 and 2010.

The current president of Marong FNC in Darren Turnbull was the first Youth Girls Coach of the Marong team and will be front and centre on Sunday in watching the first match of Marong Senior Womens.

The Panthers will mark their CVFL senior women’s footy debut with David Blume and Jimmy Evenden as co-coaches.

Both bring plenty of playing experience to the role.

The Panthers will be on home turf at Malone Park for a first-round clash with White Hills on April 7 at 1.30pm.

North Bendigo

The Bulldogs again have Ross Egleton in charge as coach.

Across a playing career of more than 300 games, Egleton played in six grand finals in metro, country and interstate leagues.

North Bendigo will be determined to improve on last year’s win-loss tally of 2-10 and sixth place.

Recruits for the red, white and blue include Ella Dobelli, Nathalia; Britney Oliver, Castlemaine and Heidi Schneider, Woorinen.

It’s a clash of the Bulldogs and Tigers from 1.30pm on April 7 as North Bendigo hosts Woorinen at Hibo Hotel Oval in Atkins Street


A club steeped in history, Sandhurst makes its move into the senior women’s footy ranks.

The club has appointed Andrew Saladino as coach.

Massive task for Saladino who tackles dual coaching roles in ’24 – seniors at Heathcote, and also with Sandhurst’s women’s team.

Since taking charge at Heathcote in ’22, Saladino has guided the team to a sixth-place finish and then runner-up.

Recruits for Sandhurst include Amanda Carrod and Maddy White, Golden Square; Hannah Maher, Monash Blues; and Chelsea Reeves, Strathfieldsaye.

Players making their way from the Bendigo junior to Sandhurst are Imogen Douglass, South Bendigo; Charlotte Liddy, Eaglehawk; and Madeline Sexton, Strathfieldsaye.

The Sandhurst junior girls have been in hot form in recent years.

Zoe Aldridge, Ellie Bellenger, Madison Burgess, Scout Carmody, Hannah Cochrane, Shanae and Tanisha Daly, Ava, Lily and Milla Franklin, Georgia Garlick, Skyla Gilchrist, Eillish Grieve, Amelia Grist, Olivia Lacy, Ryah Mackie, Macey McGurk, Molly McLoughlan, Bella and Eryn McManus, Lacey Nihill, Charlotte Scanlon and Chloe Taylor are all graduates of Sandhurst juniors now in the senior squad.

Mark their first matches in the CVFL senior women’s league by playing a powerful Castlemaine team on April 7 at Mercy Junortoun Sports Precinct.

Main game between the Dragons and Magpies starts at 1pm.

White Hills

White Hills started with Under 12 Girls in 2017 and have grown each year to established a Senior team in 2024.

Coached by Phil Murley and organised by Gerri Ripper the club is looking forward to hitting the park on Sunday to start the White Hills tradition of Senior Womens Football.

The Demons were under-18 girls premiers in last season’s Bendigo Junior Football League action.

Take on Marong in the Panthers’ den at Malone Park on April 7 at 1.30pm.


Last year’s runner-up is likely to be a serious challenger for the premiership cup again.

The Katelyn Hazlett-coached Tigers had Izabella Palermo, Sophie Peacock and Freda Wosomo star in the grand final clash with Castlemaine under the Queen Elizabeth Oval lights.

Massive challenge for this team which racks up plenty of kilometres to compete.

Went through the ’23 campaign in style to record nine wins, three defeats.

Newcomers for the yellow and black are Hollie Everett, Fallon Smits and Sienna Spence from Tyntynder.

Makes the trek to North Bendigo’s Hibo Hotel Oval in Atkins Street for an April 7 showdown starting at 1.30pm.