The Stawell Warriors female teams will return to training this month as their junior side, and a potential senior team build toward the 2021 season with Melissa Bibby stepping up as coach.
On Wednesday, February 24, the under 13-18 girls will train from 4.15-5.15pm, while the open women's team will hold a meet and greet from 5.15-5.30pm at Central Park, Stawell.
The club is looking to build on a strong under-18 2019 season by adding an open women's side to the club for the first time.
Bibby, who grew up in Navarre, said she wants girls from all background to give the sport a go.
"I have never met a girl who has tried it and not liked it, they always get out there and love it because they can smash people, use their aggression and their body and have fun," she said.
"I think there is a role for anybody in football; it doesn't matter what shape or size you are.
"As coaches, we will take time to teach the fundamental skills like protecting yourself, and we just want girls to come and get out there and have a go.
"And there will be a bunch of girls who haven't played before, there will be numerous girls who have never played, and they can all grow together.
Bibby was supposed to coach the side last year, but after no football was played, she is excited to lead the girls into 2021.
"I just love footy and I love watching the girls get out there, be aggressive, be physical and do things that they're not used to," she said.
"I love the team environment and working with kids and getting to see that development and it would be nice to bring women's footy to the country here and let them understand that they can do it and they can do it all the way through the age groups.
"I want to make it fun, but also teach the game to the girls and help them get the most out of it.
"We will just try and consolidate this year after a bit of a break and all the other teams in the league will be the same, where we are just trying to re-group and build up again."
Bibby joins the club with a wealth of elite sporting experience after representing the Australian women's ice hockey team for 12 years, including at seven world championships, playing in the Sydney Women's AFL competition and working as an assistant coach for the Darebin Falcons in the VWFL.
The Warriors play in the Western Victoria Female Football League with an under 13-18 side entered in the Deakin University Female Football League which has teams that stretch from Warrnambool up to Horsham.
In 2019 the Stawell under 13-18 girls side finished fourth on the ladder in the 11-team competition before losing the first semi-final by 20 points to the Warrnambool Blues.
That year, four teams also entered a side in the inaugural season of the Western Victoria Female Football League's Senior Female Football Competition.
Stawell was not one of them, but with substantial junior numbers, the club is looking to build an open women's team, a pathway for the junior Warriors to continue playing football.
For more information, contact Melissa Bibby or visit the Stawell Warriors Facebook page.
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