A great test for Panthers against genuine premiership contender

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Bunbury's Ruby Mahony and Abby Gellard endeavour to keep Kandice Hart (Carey Park) at bay last season.
Camera IconBunbury's Ruby Mahony and Abby Gellard endeavour to keep Kandice Hart (Carey Park) at bay last season. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Bunbury’s bid for redemption in the SWFL women’s competition begins at Kelly Park on Sunday afternoon, when they take on Carey Park.

On the back of winning the minor premiership and defeating South Bunbury twice in the final month of the season, the Bulldogs fluffed their lines on grand final day and kicked themselves out of securing a premiership against the Tigers.

After months of having to swallow the bitter outcome, all eyes will be on how Michelle Harris’ side bounces back.

Sunday’s team against the Panthers has the potential to look a little different, with several key players — including stars Ruby Mahony and Sophie Proudfoot — presently involved with WAFLW outfit Swan Districts.

Although Swans have the bye this week, they do have a scratch match against the State team planned — with Mahony and Proudfoot given the option to play in the game if they choose.

The Bulldogs will also be without midfielder Doma Fedele, who is likely to be involved with WAFLW high flyers East Fremantle in their derby against South Fremantle.

However, despite these potential omissions, Harris has no shortage of talent within her squad and should feel confident her side will be able to open with a win.

After several challenging seasons, the Panthers appeared to turn a corner towards the back end of season 2021.

With Jessie Gallop, Chloe Pumphrey and Shaye Serna-Pastor taking massive strides in their respective careers last season, the Panthers are beginning to form an experienced squad who could push for finals in the next three years.

Irrespective of the final result, this match is a great opportunity for Carey Park to get a true insight into their on-field progression.

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