We’re proud to support women’s league
with Josh Kennedy WEST Coast supporters were no doubt pretty happy to rock up to work this week and hover around the coffee machine to talk footy.
It was a lot different a week earlier, but they would have been pretty happy with the game after we managed to get over the line against Fremantle in Western Derby 43 on Saturday night.
After the disappointing effort against Hawthorn in round two, we had a strong focus on an improved effort and we know our army of members and fans would have enjoyed the game.
The win against Freo was satisfying because it was a bit of a grind but in the end, we found a way to get over the line.
It wasn’t pretty, but the main thing from our perspective was that we got the job done and it gave us two wins from the first three games. You always like to be ahead of the count in the winloss ratio, so that was important.
Derbies are always tough and uncompromising and although we treat it as another game and try to prepare exactly the same every week, we know it means more to the West Coast faithful.
You don’t look for extra motivation because you need to be consistent in everything you do from week to week, but it was great to celebrate the 200th game of champion midfielder Matt Priddis.
He deserved to have a win in his big game and a bonus for him was winning the Ross Glendinning Medal as best on ground.
It was thoroughly deserved and we were all thrilled for him. THE West Coast Eagles are preparing to be one of the clubs involved in the National Women’s League next year.
Like a number of AFL clubs, West Coast is looking to secure one of up to eight inaugural licences in the start-up phase, recognising that the league will develop and grow over time.
Female football has undergone significant growth for the AFL during the past five years, with participation in programs and competitions increasing from 95,000 in 2011 to 318,000 in 2015.
Those numbers are reflected locally.
On Saturday, when a women’s derby was played as a curtain-raiser to the Eagles’ Western Derby clash with cross-town rivals Fremantle, it was broadcast on Fox.
In the lead-up to the women’s derby, West Coast Eagles coach Martine Pearman and captain Kara Donnellan were introduced to club staff and did a pre-game media conference, handling the spotlight with eloquence and aplomb.
A clear love for the game was evident as they spruiked the virtues of the women’s game.
Pearman is an accomplished coach, leading the Coastal Titans to four consecutive grand finals and two premierships in the local competition.
She has also been an assistant coach at Melbourne for the highly successful exhibition matches against the Western Bulldogs in recent years.
The spotlight those games have cast on the rapidly growing women’s football movement has been the genesis of this looming national competition.
Donnellan has an unbridled passion for the game she has played since she was nine.
She is also involved in the game full-time as part of the V-Swans community program run through Swan Districts Football Club.
The West Coast Eagles are committed to diversity and gender equity, and the vision is to field a sustainable, professional and premiershipwinning women’s team that grows new market opportunities and helps grow female football in WA.
Community Newspaper Group is an affiliated partner of the West Coast Eagles.
West Coast's women's captain Kara Donnellan with injured defender Mitch Brown prior to Saturday's derby games.