Three Ararat Storm footballers had the opportunity to develop their game and experience a different brand of football when they traveled to Tasmania last week.
Miranda Holden, Ayesha Nicholson and Ella Wood were part of a 25-player AFL Goldfields squad that participated in two matches against Tasmanian teams.
The squad was on the Apple Isle from Tuesday to Friday, playing matches against the Southern Tasmanian Junior Football League's youth girls in Hobart before moving north to play Scotch Oakburn College at Launceston.
The Storm girls were influential for the Victorian-based side, winning the two games by 41 and 21 points respectively.
Tour manager for the Goldfields team Scott Carey said the week was “incredibly enjoyable”.
“Not only was the trip a great opportunity for the girls to experience different types of football but it was also fantastic for them to be able to see a different part of the country,” he said.
“The girls got to go to Port Arthur on Wednesday where they were able to get a taste of some local history.”
AFL GOLDFIELDS FEMALE FOOTBALL TASMANIA TRIP - GAME TWO— AFL Goldfields (@AFLGoldfields) April 6, 2018
AFL Goldfields 5.1.31 defeated Scotch College 1.4.10
Goals: (AFL Goldfields) Ella Wood 3, Steph Larsen 1 and Jade Clark 1.#AFLGoldfields2018#AFLGoldfieldsFemaleFootball2018#BallaratFNL2018#RDFNL2018pic.twitter.com/S6SVzjxyE4
Greater Western Victoria Rebels representatives and Ararat Storm players Nicholson and Wood led the team for the week as co-captain.
Goldfields coach Emma Kent said she was impressed with the leadership shown by those girls as well their Storm teammate Holden.
“They provided on and off field leadership and all three girls represented the Ararat region very well,” she said.
Kent said the team competed strongly in both matches despite having limited time to prepare for the trip.
“They gelled really well as a team even though they had not played very much as a unit,” she said.
“All the girls played their role and contributed to the success we inevitably had.
“I knew the girls had the skill and knowledge to go out their and succeed, I was just their to help guide and nurture that.”
The trip provided an opportunity for all the girls involved to experience what female football looks like from different parts of the country.
For the Tasmanian teams, it meant they were able to compete against a representative quality team without having to travel across their state or onto the mainland.
Kent said she saw the impact the AFLW competition has had on female football in Australia following the trip.
“Tassie has a short female football history in comparison to Victoria, but both teams were quite competitive,” she said.
“It shows how participation levels across the country have grown and AFLW is to thank for that.
“Young girls across Australia are growing up with role models such as Daisy Pearce to look up to which is just fantastic.
“There is now the potential for girls anywhere in Australia to make it to the AFL.”
Kent said she hopes the players were able to learn something from their trip.
“The most important thing for me is knowing the girls can bring their knowledge and skills back to develop at club level.”