Blues with one eye on the future

Madeline Barton (Jacob Pattison)351739_04

Tara Murray

Keilor is using this season with one eye on the future in the Essendon District Football League women’s premier division.

The Blues have struggled for numbers at times this season and with it, the wins haven’t come as they have in the past.

Blues coach Brooke Surgeon said despite the scoreboard, it had still been a good season.

“We are doing what we can to prepare for next season,” she said “It’s been so positive and it’s the most united that we’ve been.

“We’re continuing to work in the right direction. Hopefully we can top up the numbers and have a really strong season.”

With a number of injuries and girls either playing at Coates Talent League and Victorian Football League women’s, the Blues have struggled for numbers.

Against Hillside, they had to forfeit and their match against Maribyrnong Park half their side was under-18s.

“The new concussion rule has had an impact as it rules them out for a few weeks,” Surgeon said.

“We’re all for looking after everyone’s health, but when you lose two or three players, there goes your bench.”

Surgeon said while it had been tough it had been exciting to see some of the next generation come through and get their opportunities.

She said the future was really positive with such homegrown talent.

“We look completely different,” she said. “We’re building from the bottom.

“We want to improve them to be senior footballers. Liv Evans has been good all year.

“Liv Castello come back from the Western Jets and was good. Estelle Grimaud’s defensive skills have been outstanding.

“The other girls are coming and up and playing tagging roles for us like Ava Sloan In the middle.”

Surgeon said having the chance to work with players who are in VFLW was really beneficial and helped lift the standard.

The Blues had the weekend off with no women’s action across the board.

Surgeon said it came at a good time to get everyone a chance to refresh.

In a positive sign for the Blues, they seem likely to avoid relegation this season.

The Blues have two wins against Westmeadows, which sits bottom and without a win.

Surgeon said being in premier division was important for the under-18s coming up, so they come up into a program in the top grade.

For the rest of the season, Kerrigan said the focus was to keep on improving.

“We want to move the ball well and focus on defensive pressure,” she said. “We also want to enjoy what we do.”