Sunday Herald Sun - - News - EL­IZA SEWELL

THE Fuch­sias are bloom­ing at Mount El­iza — and the girls are lov­ing it.

Mount El­iza Ju­nior Foot­ball Club is the only all-girls team in the Frankston and Dis­trict Ju­nior Foot­ball League un­der-9s com­pe­ti­tion.

Each week the Fuch­sias take on teams filled mostly with boys, as un­der-9s is the only age group not to have a girls com­pe­ti­tion.

Club pres­i­dent Fraser Bayne said the for­ma­tion of the Fuch­sias had been a great suc­cess and while the team wasn’t dom­i­nat­ing, the play­ers were hav­ing a ball.

“There were a lot of lit­tle sis­ters who wanted to play as well and the league cur­rently doesn’t of­fer an all­girls un­der-9 com­pe­ti­tion,” Mr Bayne said.

“One of the mums said, ‘why don’t we cre­ate an all-girls team and put them in with the boys?’.

“It started slowly, then all of a sud­den we were in­un­dated and we were able to field a team.

“They are very com­pet­i­tive. The girls are still in the devel­op­ment stage but they cer­tainly give it their best.

“They ab­so­lutely love it. You see the ex­cite­ment when they kick a goal — they all jump around each other.

“We’ve spo­ken to a few other clubs who have rung to see how it is and they’re go­ing to try and do it next year as well.”

Mount El­iza has about 150 girls play­ing across seven teams this sea­son from un­der-9s to un­der-18s.

“This is our fourth year of hav­ing girls teams and it’s grown rapidly,” Mr Bayne said. “I think with the AFL Women’s com­ing on this year, we re­ally dou­bled our num­bers just from the ex­cite­ment. Girls see now there’s a path­way.

“The league’s been very sup­port- ive, es­pe­cially of our un­der-9 girls. We’ve ac­tu­ally got a wait­ing list in our older girls (teams).”

Mr Bayne said if St Kilda were granted an AFLW li­cence it would only help the sport grow in the re­gion. “To have a team for our girls to sup­port and aspire to, that would be fan­tas­tic,” he said. “If St Kilda gets a team for the bay­side re­gion, it would be fan­tas­tic for our girls.” el­iza.sewell@news.com.au KATIE BICE, OPIN­ION, PAGE 39

Ruby and Eden and their Fuch­sias un­der-9s team­mates. Pic­ture: DAVID CAIRD

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