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    GIRLS FOOTY OFF TO A FLYING START AT YARRAVILLE SEDDON EAGLES

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    By Dmitri Colebatch

    Sunday saw Yarraville Seddon Eagles cap off a successful year in girls football winning both the U14 grand final to cap off an undefeated season, and the U18.5 in a merged side with Flemington Junior Football Club.

    Girls football had a great start at Yarraville in 2015 when Simon Kingswell coached the 2018 U15 girls premiership side.  In the same year Keith Royston coached the U12 side, and in 2022 girls from both those teams were key elements of successful sides yesterday.

    Yarraville’s 2022 U14 girls team had a fairytale year playing in an unbeaten season with a team that included 4 girls who have never played football before, and 1 who was still young enough to play U12s.  Team manager Renee O’Donnell said “it’s wonderful to see the girls enjoying their football again” speaking in context of COVID causing the last two years of junior football to be cancelled, later adding that the team’s balance of new and experienced players demonstrated how welcoming the club is to all new girls wanting to give footy a go.  Club vice president Sammy Leigh said it showed how far girls football has come, and was already looking forward to continuing the success into 2023 saying “we will have girls sides in every age bracket, and are finding more and more girls coming through the Auskick program”.

    In the last game of the weekend the merged Flemington/Yarraville U18.5 side won convincingly over Spotswood 65-24. The merged team was the result of hard work at both clubs to ensure that girls footy continued for the age group of girls who started playing footy with the boys because girls footy didn’t exist.  Donna D’Alessandro, mother of captain Emily Heaney, said the win was a well deserved reward for a team of girls who have had to fight every way through their footballing career, and was pleased to see how much better girls football is now than when her daughter started playing.  Best on ground Sierra Grieves is another Yarraville Seddon original, her father Neil is a life member at the club having played in premierships himself. But today Neil is more interested in Sierra’s football than his own, and with good reason. Sierra is still an U16 player in an U18.5 competition where she not only earns her place, but yesterday won best on ground in the grand final.  Sierra is already thinking about next year, with her eyes set firmly on the AFLW draft.  

    Speaking on behalf of the club Vice President Sammy Leigh said it was wonderful to see the success girls footy is having, and that she can’t wait to see the silverware take its pride of place at the junior presentation day in two weeks.  

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