Saturday was a special day for the Maroochydore Roos. For the first official time, they had a women’s team represent the club.
Their Queensland Women’s Amateur Football Association (QWAFA) side marked the occasion with a win over Jindalee at home by 31-points, starting off their journey on the right foot.
While the game was played out across four quarters, the work that has gone into getting this team up and running goes back much further.
“Late October and early November last year, we started putting out calls for interest from the girls who were ageing out of juniors,” Coach Stu Jackson said.
The reason behind starting a team was opportunity.
“We wanted to make sure that the girls who were ageing out of under 18’s had somewhere to go,” Jackson said.
“At that time, there was no senior women’s team on the Sunshine Coast. I’ve been involved in the Under 18’s for a couple of years, and I thought they needed somewhere to go.”
Once that was decided, it was time to spark some interest.
“Recruiting the girls was easy. We had 28 absolute definites by Christmas, and had 20 odd at training every session,” he said.
Once the numbers were settled, it was time for the Roos to bring out the footies and start working on the transition from junior to senior football.
“I guess the difference is it’s adult footy now. It’s a lot more physical, and there is a lot more pressure,” Jackson said.
The whole club is involved, so there is a bit of pressure now to get some results, even if that is just improvement week by week.
The on-field journey started for Maroochydore at the Flash Footy Tournament back in March.
While they didn’t walk away with a win from their three games, it gave each player a taste of is required this year.
Since that moment, the training and the vibe around the club lifted.
“The feel has been excellent around the club. We have a couple of junior state players, and regional players in the team, so the quality is there,” he said.
“The girls have come out firing; we had a great day at the Flash Footy Tournament.”
Entering a season without a base to work off makes setting goals reasonably difficult, so Maroochydore are keeping it pretty simple this year.
“We have set a group KPI that everyone has to improve on their major identified weakness. We will take some data throughout the year to make sure that is happening, but it’s also just about the players enjoying their footy this year,” he said.
The Roos will look to make it two from two in 2016 this Saturday when they take on UQ at home from 11am.
By Andrew Wiles