Previewing the VWFL North West Divison

The teams competing in the North West Division in 2012 are; Altona Vikings, Bendigo Thunder, Deer Park Lions, Jacana Jaguars, Lalor Park Stars, Latrobe Uni Trobers, Melton Centrals, North Ballarat Eagles & North Geelong Magpies.

La Trobe Uni took all before them in 2011 winning the flag after finishing the home & away season in 4th place and will be keen to perform well again in 2012. North Ballarat who were dominant during the 2011 home & away season before falling at the final hurdle have been working hard in the pre season to develop and build their young team. Bendigo had a stellar debut season in 2011 with a preliminary final appearance and the Thunder will be aiming to go further in 2012. Expect to see a good showing from Lalor Park in 2012. The Stars have been working hard over summer and also expect an improved effort from Melton in 2012 as they have worked hard to recruit and develop their squad.

Three of the four new teams played in a round robin day in February and all looked good with Altona looking particularly strong. Deer Park and Jacana also showed a lot of potential in their first hit out while North Geelong have recruited Darebin Falcons premiership player, Victorian representative Alisha Habib to coach their team in 2012.


Position in 2011: New VWFL club in 2012

Coach: Belinda Ousley

Captain: Belinda Ousley

Facebook: AltonaFC

Twitter: @Altonafc


Player Arrivals: Alison Haillay, Allison Wooles , Amie Bracken , Amy Jackson,   Jayde Maney, Jasmine Breen, Jenny Berry, Melissa Bedggood, Paige Holt, Rebecca Leeks, Marina Skinner, Sarah Petts, Stephanie St Ellen, Susan Hannah, Tiarni Testro all new players. Amanda Morgan, Angela West, Belinda Ousley, Ebony Watkins, Jessica Fenech, Kerry Fletcher, Kim Cummins-Deller, Megan MacFadyen & Stacey Livingstone from Bell Post Hill. Ebony Redfern – Braybrook, Erin Wright – Wyndhamvale Youth Girls, Renea MacBain – Braybook and Altona Youth Girls & Shae-Lee Murphy-Burke – Altona Youth Girls

Player Departures: N/A

From the coach Belinda Ousley: “We are a new team with the Altona Football Club and all of us are very excited about the possibilities of how the team can perform in 2012 and beyond.

We have had an overwhelming response from new players and current players in the VWFL, in building this team. We started training in November and have had one of the best pre-season’s I have been involved in. The team is ready for the first game, and I am sure we will be competitive throughout the season.”

From the President Barrie Muschialli: “The Altona Football Club is very excited to have a team in the VWFL. We see this as a natural progression for the Club as it continues to strive for success at all levels. I personally look forward to watching the girls compete at this high level”




Position in 2011: 3rd

Coaches: Russell Jeffrey (Senior coach) & Emma Wolters (assistant)         

Captain: TBA

Facebook: Bendigo-Women's Thunder Football Club




Player Arrivals: Player Arrivals: Mel Krauss - Melton; Bec Pearce - Previous Youth Girls player; Jess Kile - East Burwood; Rowena Tatana - new to football; Cassandra Mawby - Bell Post Hill; Mel Paech - new to football; Melina Tatti - Youth Girls; Sam Bice - Youth Girls; Phoebe Smith, Jess Saigar - Touch Footy; Andrea Coughlan - new to football; Hannah Perry - Youth Girls; Amy Shrive - La Trobe.

Player Departures: Kirsty Short - work commitments; Matti Myers (captain) - work; Ali Lowe - commitments; Fran Rinaldi - moved away for study; Tanya Rusbridge - family; Abby Hay - injury; Cassie McLean - work; Jackie Simpkin - injury

From the coaches: No longer the new kid on the block we are set to really step things up this season, we have set our expectations as a club. It will be interesting to see how things go with so many new teams in the division, we are all very excited about the growth or women’s football and are excited about stepping up for the challenge. Coach Russell Jeffrey

We are really excited about this season, we are treating each team as a new team, we expect that the teams from last year will have improved and so we have no preconceived ideas about what they can bring to each game, we are just focussing on making sure that we are putting in our all to each part of the game, on and off the field - Assistant coach Emma Wolters




Position in 2011: New VWFL club in 2012

Coaches: Bill Feltham (senior coach) & Tracey Shanahan (assistant)       

Captain: Shannon Barry & Brooke McKinley

Facebook: deerpark



Player Arrivals:       All new. Some players from Braybrook.

Player Departures: N/A

From the coaches Bill Feltham & Tracey Shanahan: Pre season so far has been excellent, we are looking at having a great side this year. There have been a lot of positives come from pre season so far, such as The new leadership group all standing up and taking charge of the group. Team motivation has thus far been exceptional and this will soon no doubt show on the field sometime thru-out the upcoming season.

From the club: The Deer Park senior men’s team won the WRFL premiership in 2011. With the women's team, the Deer Park Football Club now has 7 teams, including a Youth Girls registered for 2012.




Position in 2011: New VWFL club in 2012

Coach: Sharron Kelly-Campbell 

Captain: Shereen Al Khadeem

Facebook: Jacana-Jaguars Women's-Footy




Player Arrivals: Almost our whole team is new to the VWFL this year. Majority of the girls have come from the Jacana Jaguars Youth Girls teams of the past. We have also been fortunate enough to gain some players from other Youth Girls teams including Lalor and St Damien's once they were no longer eligible to play in the Youth league. A good handful of our girls have never played competitive football before. They've come along through word of mouth and given it a go. We even have a couple of rugby converts who are switching codes this year.

Player Departures: N/A

From the coach Sharron Kelly-Campbell: Our team evolved from a group of past Youth Girls who wanted to play on in the purple and gold and not have to relocate to a new club. With some hard work and perseverance, the green light was given for a Senior team to hit the track. Since then, Youth girls from the past have dusted off their boots and hit the training track once again for our inaugural season. Add to them some local girls, some of whom have never played footy before and you end up with our team. Our focus so far has been on getting the numbers we need, both at training and in preparation for match days. It's only been the past couple of weeks that we have been assured by the numbers that we will play out the season.


The team that we have could best be described as young, enthusiastic and eager to learn a thing or two about women's footy in the VWFL. We hope that this year will reward us with a few wins, but more importantly, have further developed our skills as individuals and a playing group. Our vision is that in the next three years, we will play and succeed in final footy with the North West Conference. Bring on our first season ever in the VWFL!




Position in 2011: 4th

Coaches: Nathan Groves (senior coach) & Daniel Wilson (assistant)

Captain: Mellisa Barnes


Twitter: @lalorwfc



Player Arrivals: Player Arrivals: We have finally got three girls graduating from Youth Girls to play a full season of senior footy.

Player Departures: Player Departures: Claire Rollinson – Motherhood

From the coach Nathan Groves: We’ve lost a few experienced players to retirement but we are really excited to see some Youth Girls coming through the ranks to play senior footy.




Position in 2011: Premiers

Coach: Stuart Patten

Captain: TBA

Facebook: La Trobe Uni Football Club

Twitter: LaTrobeUniFC



Player Arrivals: Lucy Lopes - Young gun, senior men’s football umpire, Renee Melton - Strong in defence and attack, impressive kick, Kate Rankin - Smart and agile player, LTU Uni games rep, Kate Fox - Tall all round sports women with great skills.

Player Departures: Skye Bell - Previous captain and legend of the club. We are thrilled to have Skye as our assistant coach in 2012. Amy Shrive - 2011 premiership player. Studying physiotherapy in Bendigo & will play at Bendigo Thunder. Laura Herben - 2011 premiership player, studying teaching in Geelong. Alyse Johns - 2011 Grand Final BOG, LTU B&F and premiership player, moved to Hobart to further her career.

From the coach Stuart Patten: True to form, La Trobe has had a slow start to their pre-season while the girls enjoyed a long, well earned summer, away from University. In recent weeks we have started to settle our side and look forward to another successful year in the VWFL.




Position in 2011: 5th

Coaches: Ray Martin & Neil Carlin

Captain: Sal Hastings

Facebook: Melton Centrals W.F.C



Player Arrivals: Ally Paone & Bec Sadler from Bell Post Hill, Charlie Agius from Braybrook. A number of new players, Kylie Garrett - played at Ballarat a few years ago, Sarah Monaghan and Sue Christophers new to VWFL. A few more have been attending training, yet to make a decision to play. Whilst retaining 25+ players from last season.

Player Departures: Melanie Krause - Bendigo (relocation)

From the coach Ray Martin: Training has been good, numbers are up and I think we are up for a good year. Best of luck to all the girls and enjoy your footy.




Position in 2011: Runner up

Coach: John Marshall

Captain: TBA





Player Arrivals: Annie Bone – Lalor, Ruth Harvey – St John’s, Mel McNamara – Geelong Youth Girls, Lauren Tink, Romanie Grahame, Elisha Harris, Becky Irons, Jady Brkic, Kelsi Gull all first year players.

Player Departures: Ebony Williamson – St Kilda, Claire Bourdon – St Kilda, Jessica Blake – Bendigo, Keira Barlee, Laura Melham, Deanna Inkson (Retired)

From the coach John Marshall: With so many new faces this season we have the opportunity to develop our culture and create a trademark that the Eagles will be known for. Good attendances at pre-season have enabled us to develop a good fitness base, with some of our senior players having their first full preseason in two or three years. A practice match against Premier Reserve team Sunbury has shown that we will be competitive this year.

Other news from the club: This will be a year of milestones for many players with our first 100 game player and at least another six players with the possibility of reaching 50 games this season.




Position in 2011: New in 2012

Coach: Alisha Habib

Captain: TBA





Player Arrivals: Player Arrivals: Alisha Habib, Aliesha McClean, Michelle Hennessy – Darebin Falcons. Nicole Vagg & Michelle Clayton – Bell Post Hill, Pheobe Monahan – Clonard College,   Geena Pierazzi – Leopold, Tayla Rhodes – Barwon Heads, Haylee Wray – Leopold, Madeleine Boyd – Clonard College, Emmah Richards – Melbourne University, Madison Bird – Clonard College, Renee Edwards – South Barwon, Ketura Barry, Katrina Gunther, Sarah Richardson, Cassandra Hynes, Lara Williams all new to the game.

Player Departures: N/A

From the coach Alisha Habib: We have a very young side with quite a mix of experience from girls who have played state to girls who have never played before. The pre-season was very slow to get going given we are a new club in the VWFL. The North Geelong Football and Netball Club have welcomed the girls with open arms and have gone all out to make whoever is there for the girls feel at home. We struggled somewhat with numbers at the start but as word has slowly filtered out that we are the only senior women’s club in the Geelong region we have started to build up quite a list. I would suggest we will be competitive but it depends on the numbers of players with experience who can get up for every game. I want to teach the girls what I have learned at the Falcons and hope that they improve and enjoy their football.

Other news from the club: If you are in the Geelong area and would like to play then please contact Alisha Habib or email the club. We will be happy to help any girl who wants to play footy.


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