Lions next gen ready to go

Tara Murray

The future is bright for Deer Park and its female program in the Essendon District Football League.

The Lions have the numbers already to field their first girls EDFL team next year and if they can get enough, they could even have two.

Junior coordinator Tracey Purcell said the club was excited to have youth girls teams for the first time.

“It’s the first time we’ve had youth girls at the club, we’ve had senior women before,” she said.

“The switch to the EDFL we wanted to grow the whole club. Last year we had four junior [boys-mixed] sides and next year we are looking at seven and our first girls team.”

Purcell said they tried to get a girls team up and going this year without any success but already have the numbers for an under-16 team.

She said the team was a mixture of under-14 and under-16 players and if they could get enough numbers for both teams, they would field teams in both age groups.

She said they would be happy with one team but it would be really good if they could get a second team up and running.

“It is fantastic,” she said. “Hopefully the 16s will keep playing and move up into senior women’s in the future.

“We’ve never had young girls come through and been able to move them into a women’s side.”

Purcell said some of the girls would have the opportunity to be part of a special program which gives players one-on-one coaching of an AFL standard.

The girls side has already started training with AFL player Bella Clarke attending training on Wednesday night.

Peter Lausch, Luke Jamison and Kon Konstantaras have been appointed coaches of the girls teams.

Purcell said they encourage any girls who are keen on playing to come down and give it a go.

Any interested in playing can contact Tracey on 0410 523 170 or Matt on 0410 523 172.