Big weekend for women’s football

FORWARD FOCUS: Chloe Newton will spearhead the attack up forward for the South East Zone women's team in the SA Country Championships. (File)

By Trevor Jackson

THE South East Zone women’s team has been named and looks set to take on the best from South Australia in the SA Country Championships at Victor Harbour.

The list includes 22 players from the region, with some of the strongest women in the Limestone Coast league ready for action.

Kybybolite’s Chris Boston takes on the coaching duties, assisted by Casterton Sandford’s Scarlett Jarrad.

For Boston it has been an interesting preparation, with the women currently in their off-season.

“We have had about five training sessions because it is our off-season and we need a few more trainings,” he said.

“Some of the girls have played in the Wimmera competition, but most haven’t.

“We needed some extra trainings to get the run back in the legs and remember how to kick it.”

Unlike the men, the women’s side is not reliant on Under 21 players, although the governing body suggest to take as many young players as possible.

The SE team exceeds those parameters.

“Having a certain amount of Under 21 players is not as stringent as the men,” Boston said.

“We are probably half and half anyway, with a good mix of youth and experience.”

A change from last year’s taller team will see some extra pace at ground level.

Boston said it was a lesson learned not to have such a big side.

“It is not a tall team, but a smaller running team,” he said.

“Last year the one thing that hurt us was we were a bit slow and a big too big.

“It was quite wet and muddy and most of the other teams are playing this time of year, so naturally they are a bit fitter.

“We just tried to get a quicker team and I think we have achieved that.”

Boston has spent the last two years coaching Kybybolite and is enjoying his first time coaching at the higher level.

“I really enjoy it,” he said.

“We have about seven or eight girls playing their first carnival, which will be good for them.”

Boston said there were plenty of talented women in the team, with the likes of Tess Andrews able to provide plenty of experience for the young players.

“Our focus up forward is with Chloe Newton,” he said.

“She went up to play for the Eagles in Adelaide.

“Jeda Huf won best-on-ground in our grand final and will be good through the mid-field as well.

“Defensively we have some on-ballers who are playing in defence in this team.

“Libby Altorfer at centre-half-back is good, then we have Kate Melmac and probably one of the Berkin girls.

“Chloe Finnigan is our number-one ruck and we will rely on her over the weekend.

“We wanted a team that was flexible with the ability to chop and change easily.”

The girls play their first game on Friday night against Eyre Peninsula at 7.20pm, then back up against reigning champions Central on Saturday at 10.55am.

SE Women’s Zone team

Casterton Sandford: Chloe Finnigan; Hinemoa Biddle-Maitland; Libby Altorfer.

North Gambier: Tess Andrews; Alice Tentye; Chloe Newton; Chloe Perryman; Fiona Young – Emergency.

South Gambier: Jarrah Altschwager; Sophie Wight.

Kybybolite: Dellie Brown; Ella Boston; Jedah Huf; Taylor Ryan; Kate Edmonds.

Millicent: Sienna Laslett – Emergency; Amber Chester – Emergency.

Mundulla: Kellsie Turner – Vice Captain; Zoe Hawker; Erin Horsnell – Captain; Kate Maddern; Mel Maddern.

Penola: Heidi Berkin; Ellise Berkin; Shandeen Balshaw.