Southern Power women to fly the flag in 2016
Article published on http://www.theleader.com.au/story/3736086/power-girls-lead-the-way/
They are the only female team representing St George and Sutherland Shire in the Sydney AFL competition and this year Southern Power have more goals they want to kick.
Redevelopment work has begun on their home ground at Waratah Park, Sutherland and there is only a few weeks until the start of their Sydney AFL division one season on April 9.
These are exciting times for the team which, on the back of an undefeated premiership season in division two in 2014, consolidated their position in the top tier last year.
It will be Mel Ciraolo’s third season with the Power after switching to the sport from football.
The Kogarah resident told The Leader the atmosphere within the team was something different.
“I came from a soccer background [so] I could kick, [but I] had to learn everything else,” she said.
“I wasn’t too bad, [it was] just very different.
"There’s a very different culture [in Australian football].
“There’s no individuals, it’s a real team thing.
The club’s female junior base is also expanding with under-14s and under-18s teams to take to the field.
I’ve never had the camaraderie these girls have.
Southern Power’s women’s team had their first season in 2010 and first grade captain and under-14s coach Kathryn Hull said junior development had been a priority.
“When the [youth girls’] program started on Friday nights it was very informal [but it’s] developed so much since then,” she said.
“[Last year] we made it to the finals which was just massive for the girls and the club.”
Hull, who has played the sport for 10 years since converting from netball, said it had a number of benefits for women.
“I grew up playing netball and I’ve been playing AFL nine or 10 years now - I’ve never had the camaraderie these girls have,” she said.
“I think it’s quite special and unique to us, the social side of it’s really good.
“But there’s also a better level of physical training as well I think – training twice a week it’s more intense and better for you.”
The senior team trains on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6pm, with junior girls at 5pm on Tuesdays.