In­ter­est grows in women’s game

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - LIONS SEASON PREVIEW - Jac­inta Can­ta­tore

HAR­VEY-Brunswick-Leschenault women’s coach Laura Relph says the team had more play­ers than ever de­spite los­ing 10 play­ers from last sea­son.

“We’ve lost 10, but we’ve gained 21, so now we have close to 30 play­ers on the team,” Relph said.

Among the new­com­ers are five girls from the ju­niors and four play­ers who have moved to the sport from rugby.

In a bid to cre­ate team co­he­sion and get a feel for player po­ten­tial, Relph had a back-to-ba­sics ap­proach dur­ing pre-sea­son train­ing, which in­cluded two spe­cial­ist-led train­ing ses­sions on safe tack­ling tech­niques and pass­ing.

“Our aim so far has been to just re­ally build on skills, fit­ness and co­he­sion,” she said.

“So far train­ing has been pos­i­tive, with veteran play­ers al­ready men­tor­ing the new­com­ers.”

Relph said two play­ers to look out for were last year’s ruck Brittany Glid­don, for her strength and ver­sa­til­ity who “can play any po­si­tion we put her in,” and An­drea Shirripa, who won best on ground at a re­cent round robin game.

“Shirripa has im­proved 10-fold since last year,” Relph said. “Her heart is re­ally in it.” Relph said the group of moth­ers, stu­dents and women from other sport­ing back- grounds had cre­ated a great mix.

“The team is a nice blend and they re­ally work well to­gether,” she said.

Relph said the team would be con­cen­trat­ing on what hap­pened on the field on the day.

“We will play our best ev­ery week and hope­fully im­prove ev­ery week.”

Pic­tures: Mitchell Wood­cock

Har­vey-Brunswick-Leschenault's Brittany Glid­don gets a kick away under pres­sure last sea­son.

Har­vey-Brunswick-Leschenault's Bri­anna Whyte fires out a hand­ball dur­ing the 2017 pre-sea­son car­ni­val.

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