The pre-season was long and tough, it commenced in Nov, as we knew that was a required area of improvement from Season 2018. We had an influx of new players to the club, on the back of a big recruitment push from the previous wolf-pack. April came around really quickly and all was in readiness for what we were hoping was the start of a big season for the newly named Inner West Magpies Women’s Premier Div Team.
Our first game was one of the highlights of the season for me where we came out of the blocks and looked like a team of superstars. Every player contributed and the structures that Spechs and I had put into place were executed well and appeared to compliment the team. Our game plan was solid and we had pace all around the ground. Our first-round win of 100 points set the scene for a big season, which we never really quite achieved.
That first round team was not replicated until round 13 showing the turnover of players that we experience this year, through injuries and unavailabilities. We had the aim of being a better team than last year and we certainly achieved that although the win loss ration did not reflect that. We were more competitive for longer periods against the top 4 sides. We pushed UNSW twice, played one of our better games against SYDNEY UNI and pushed Southern twice.
The other real positive this season was the introduction to Premier Div footy for some of our youth girls. Berry, Ella, Maddie, Stoush and Tayliah all debuted and all contributed significantly throughout the season with Tayliah and Maddie receiving Rising Star nominations. The YGs brought enthusiasm, speed and commitment all traits that have seen the U18 and U16 YGs make the finals this year under the tutelage of our very own Mickey and Melly/Jimmy. The way the more experienced members of the team welcomed and mentored these girls was a real highlight for me.
There is no doubting that we let a couple of games slip. As a team we didn’t have the depth of experience to compete across the park making it tough on our newer, less experienced players to be playing their first games in Premier Division. The credit to the ladies was that this did not detract from the improvement and willingness that the team made as a whole. To eliminate this gap in talent we need to recruit some depth to improve our Prems Team and recruit enough girls to form the Div 2/3 team which will allow those 6-8 players to improve in an environment that fosters growth.
I have loved every minute coaching these fine women and think that finals footy is just around the corner which would be a rewarding feat for all the hard work. I particularly want to thank the leadership group of Melly and Jimmy for their unwavering support. They are the glue that holds this team together both on and off the field. I would like to thank Spechs who has covered for me when I was fulfilling my navy responsibilities, you have done an outstanding job and are the right man to take this team forward! To all the new players to the club welcome and thanks for adding diversity and personality and to the all the returned players thanks for improving. The sky is the limit with a bit of focus and commitment. I look forward to being on the periphery next year and helping prospective coach Specha where possible. We ended the season in equal 6th Spot recording 4 wins for the season however that is not a true reflection of the improvement shown. We were competitive for longer in a majority of games.
Women’s Premier Division 2019 Awards
Yvette Andrews Medal – Melissa Freckleton
Runner-up Best and Fairest – Amelia Causley-Todd
Most Consistent – Kate Lawson
Coaches Award – Belinda Harrison
Most Improved – Laura Marshall