Women’s football fever hits the SW

Zach RelphSouth Western Times

The latest crop of South West Football League talent is set to be unveiled when six women’s teams take to the field in a momentous round robin carnival.

Hands Oval will host the women’s pre-season fixtures on April 9, marking the first time women footballers have officially played under the SWFL banner.

The format will include nine games – broken into 20-minute halves – with each side playing three times.

However, league officials are still deciding whether to reduce the length of each team’s last pre-season game in a bid to reduce player fatigue.

General manager John Vidos said the league was consulting with clubs and a decision was expected prior to the carnival, but he was certain the day would showcase the talent of the six sides.

“It will be the first time women’s football will be played under the SWFL umbrella,” Vidos said.

“It will be a good day for everybody and will have a carnival atmosphere.”

South Bunbury, Bunbury, Carey Park, Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault, Harvey Bulls and Busselton have all entered teams into the inaugural women’s SWFL competition.

The season begins on April 15, when South Bunbury host Carey Park at Hands Oval.

Bunbury Bulldogs are not scheduled to play their opening home-and-away game until Round 5 and by then the other five teams will have all played a minimum of two games.

Bunbury player-coach Trisha Lake said the round robin would provide much-needed preparation for the Bulldogs leading into their delayed season start.

“We are very keen and excited,” Lake said.

“A lot of of the girls haven’t played football before. It will be good to have the carnival prior to the season to get exposure to the game.”

The Bulldogs will open the round robin with a clash against Carey Park, followed by Harvey Bulls against South Bunbury and then Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault will play Busselton.

South Bunbury coach Teagan Smith said the Tigers were raring to go, with many of the squad’s players hoping to overcome their nerves before the season started.

“The girls are looking forward to it,” Smith said.

“It will be a great opportunity to see the other clubs’ talents.”

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