The Murray South East women’s representative side is keen to make an impression at the SA Country Football Championships in Victor Harbor and Encounter Bay this weekend.
The squad has a strong Limestone Coast flavour and is skippered by Kybybolite’s Dellie Brown, while young Millicent forward Ella Little is vice captain.
All three coaches Michael Hunt, Darren Ousey and Fiona Young are from Mundulla, Kalangadoo and North Gambier respectively and have picked 25 talented players, while Michael Mourbey and Scott and Karen Duncan have also been integral behind the scenes.
Despite the 2021 Veolia Limestone Coast Women’s Football League wrapping up almost four months ago, Hunt is confident the team can hit the ground running following a strong build up where all nine local teams were represented.
“The girls have been amazing with their application across the six training sessions and trial game against Portland,” he said.
“They are really committed to putting the Limestone Coast name in front of the rest of the state and have left no stone unturned.
“The tricky thing for us is we are out of season and we are coming up against game-fit players, so hopefully we have prepared well enough to step it up at first bounce.
“The girls are champing at the bit and cannot wait to play.” At the previous event in 2019, Murray South East won one game and lost two and will take on Central and Southern Districts in the minor rounds at Victor Harbor this year.
Hunt expects to encounter plenty of battles, especially against Southern Districts which won the 2019 flag.
“Those leagues are going to be very strong because now the SANFLW season is over, a lot of those players may have gone to play in the hills or outside of Adelaide and can qualify for the championships,” he said.
“But I welcome that because you are not going to extend yourself against better players, so it will be a great challenge for the team and they are excited to take it on.” Around a third of the team has previous experience at the SA Country Championships and Hunt believes connection and understanding across all positions on the field are the keys to success.
“What stood out from 2019 was how the teams used their strong players well, but I am hoping if the girls can play a cohesive sort of games we can exploit the opposition.
“If we run it hard, we can keep the ball away from their stronger players and reduce their effectiveness.” Murray South East’s campaign kicks off on Saturday morning at 9am against Central before the Southern Districts clash starts shortly after at 11.30am, while the final is played on Sunday afternoon.