Port’s fe­male play­ers want lots more to join

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - Gizelle Ghidella

THE Port Dou­glas Crocs are call­ing on women to strap on their footy boots and have a kick ev­ery Wed­nes­day for train­ing, in hopes the lo­cal club can one day start­ing a women’s AFL team.

“At the mo­ment it’s just turn­ing up to train­ing, a bit of fit­ness and fun, learn­ing new skills and then we’ll see what hap­pens next year,” said ju­niors pres­i­dent, Trevor Man­der­sloot.

“You’re learn­ing core mo­tor skills, catch­ing, kick­ing, hav­ing fun.

“There’s no com­mit­ments, we don’t ex­pect any­body to sign on for any amount of time, just come along and try it out,” he said.

In­ter­est in women’s footy has grown fol­low­ing the tremen­dous suc­cess of the in­au­gu­ral AFLW sea­son, which saw 15000 sup­port­ers in at­ten­dance at the grand fi­nal on the Gold Coast.

“We’re get­ting more and more come through (ju­nior girls), af­ter the AFL Women’s games this year..it’s been a real big help,” said Man­der­sloot.

He en­cour­ages women from any sport­ing back­ground to give it a go.

The girls down at the Croc Pit said they de­cided to play just to ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing dif­fer­ent.

Katie Bar­nett said she re­ally wants to see more girls get­ting in­volved and giv­ing AFL a go.

“We’re all here to have fun, have a laugh, noth­ing’s too se­ri­ous . . . you’re not go­ing to be thrown into any high im­pact straight away it re­ally is just about im­prov­ing fit­ness and skills at the mo­ment so ev­ery­one should come and have ago,” Katie said.

Over 10 years ago the Crocs had a fe­male team who were re­ally good but slowly the in­ter­est died off, how­ever Man­der­sloot hopes to re­vive it.

AFL Queens­land hope to have 65 women’s teams by 2018 across the State, 75 fe­male coaches by 2018 and then 140 youth girls and ju­nior teams.

The AFL Women’s sea­son in Cairns has al­ready kicked off but there’s no side rep­re­sent­ing the mighty Port Dou­glas Crocs.

Crocs Women will have a joint train­ing run with Cen­trals Trin­ity Beach Women’s team on June 28 at 5:30pm for a 6pm start at the Croc Pit with a free din­ner after­wards.

Women who want to get in­vovled are wel­come to come along to train­ing ev­ery Wed­nes­day at 5:30pm at Port Dou­glas Sport­ing Com­plex, for more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Trevor Man­der­sloot on 0437290507 or port­dou­glasju­nior­crocs@gmail.com.

Picture: GIZELLE GHIDELLA

Katie Bar­nett, Shanti Wren and Kristie Freyling all keen for a kick

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