Pakenham Lions get ready to roar
The dawn of a new era is bringing a new wave of excitement to a long and proud history with the Pakenham Football Club set to launch into its first season in South Eastern Women's Football in 2018.
The pride of the Lions is famous around these parts - the club has won 30 senior premierships in over 100 years of existence – but the time is right to branch out into the growing world of women's football.
But, as Women's Football Co-Ordinator Nicole Muley explains, the club needs more players to pull on one of the most well-respected guernseys in local football.
"We always knew it would be challenging to get the inaugural women's team up and running but the enthusiasm of that core group of players has been fantastic," Muley said.
"We started training before Christmas and had 17 players show interest, but due to things like work and looking after kids not everyone has been able to make it back to training just yet.
"We're confident those faces will return, but we need some new faces to arrive so we can really start training together as a team. The club is 100-percent behind women's football and we would love nothing more than to see many smiles and many friendships made in 2018.
"If we get some wins on the board, that will be a bonus."
Muley said the club was well placed to give a wide range of players a great first-year experience.
"We've got players ranging from 17 to 44, they're all having a go and having a lot of fun learning new skills and getting to know each other," she said.
"We've got some great sponsors on board in the Bendigo Bank and Voyage Fitness and that's a great bonus for the club because we'll be able to contribute to the girls' fees and other costs associated with playing football."
Muley's final message was a powerful one.
"Just come along and give it a go, because it's challenging but very rewarding and you can have so much fun at the same time," Muley said.
"Being part of a club is a great way to meet friends – life-long friends – and to be part of this inaugural team, why not give it a go now."
The Lions – who have just appointed a new coach - are currently training on Wednesday nights, starting at 6 pm, on the main ground at Toomuc Reserve in Pakenham.