Murraylands Women’s Football Team prepares for inaugural season in SAWFL Hills division

Murray Bridge's new women's football club will play the first match of its inaugural season in six weeks' time.

The Murraylands Women's Football Team, nicknamed the Swans, will enter a Hills-based division of the South Australian Women's Football League (SAWFL), aligned with the amateur Adelaide Footy League, this season.

Its potential players have begun training at 6pm on Monday nights and will play their home matches at Johnstone Park, Murray Bridge.

The club hopes to field open and under-18 teams wearing navy, sky blue, gold and red.

Its season will run from April to August, with matches played on Sundays and under lights on Friday and Saturday nights, possibly after River Murray A grade games.

The new club's coach will be David Schenscher, who said he had spent 30 years coaching at different levels but looked forward to the challenge of teaching kicking, marking and handballing to players who were often new to the sport.

“Most (women) have got the motor skills and coordination and can pick it up pretty quick,” he said.

“If you've got something of a competitive spirit and don't mind a bit of rough and tough, you should come and give it a go.”

He said plenty of juniors had so far turned out to train, but he suspected more senior talent was out there.

Last July, when a women's team representing the region played a scratch match, he drew on a pool of 25 juniors and seniors.

"Some of them played nine-a-side football competitions at school; they like that so they've come out," he said.

"Girls can play in the local competition until under-15s; I had five play for me in Imps, including Holly Temby ... she's a good player.

"I've got two daughters who want to play."

Larissa Schenscher said she was excited about playing footy again, having not played since Imperials' under-12s.

"I've always loved footy, kicked around with my dad and brothers; now I've got an opportunity," she said.

"For a lot of people it's just beginning.

"It feels good to be doing something you haven't been given the opportunity to do."

Antonette Lioi said she loved her new teammates.

"It's just a good bunch of people," she said.

"I love the sport and I've improved a lot, I feel.

"It feels good to be on the field."

The SAWFL was founded in 1991 and had just four member clubs as recently as 2009.

But that number has swelled to 34 clubs and 46 teams for the upcoming season, due in part to the establishment of the AFL Women's league and corresponding focus on women's football.

Despite having lacked its own team, the Murraylands has already produced an AFLW draftee, Carlton's Sophie Li, and an SANFL women's all-star, Jess Schulz.


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