The Echuca footballer will play in the state game in the Victorian Women's Football League on Saturday.LUKE MCMANUS June 7, 2014 3:35am
Echuca footballer Sarah Baldwin is accustomed to representing the ‘Big V’.
Baldwin, who plays for Bendigo Thunder in the Victorian Women’s Football League, has again been named in the Vic Country team to play metropolitan rivals Vic Metro, at Footscray’s Whitten Oval on Saturday.
Three players from the Thunder were chosen in the 22-woman squad, with Baldwin joining teammates Alana McNabb and Amanda Carrod.
Coached by St Alban’s Sean Potter and newly appointed Western Bulldogs women’s coach Mick Sandry, Vic Country boasts many key personnel including Darebin Falcons skipper Daisy Pearce — chosen by Melbourne with the number one pick in last year’s first ever women’s draft — and Pearce’s Darebin teammate and key forward Katie Brennan.
‘‘It’s such an awesome opportunity for me,’’ Baldwin said.
‘‘We had our first training ... the amount of knowledge I’ve gained and I can now take back to the Thunder has been phenomenal.
‘‘From what I can gather it will be an evenly pegged game (tomorrow).’’
This year’s senior state nod is another impressive feat for Baldwin, having already enjoyed a stellar career since taking to youth girls football eight years ago.
Joining Eaglehawk, Baldwin played in the club’s first premiership in 2007 and became the first player from country Victoria to earn a state jumper.
Baldwin’s foray for Victorian continued, representing the state at the Youth Girls Championships for two-straight years (2007-08), with Victoria taking out the title in both seasons.
Baldwin joined Thunder upon the club’s inception in 2011 and has won the past two north west division flags.
Thunder stepped up to the premier division this season and, although yet to taste victory, Baldwin said playing against seasoned metropolitan clubs, including six-time premiers Darebin, has been a learning curve but beneficial experience.
‘‘Not many women can say they’ve played the equivalent of AFL football,’’ Baldwin said, appointed vice-captain this season.
‘‘It’s been great to be able to play against the best. Sometimes I’m just in awe of them, how they play and their skill level.
‘‘The club and girls are really thriving...even though we’re being defeated by huge margins, the only way is up and we’re earning so much respect from the metro clubs.’’
Baldwin will line up alongside her Vic Country teammates at 2pm tomorrow, with an under 21 game providing a curtain raiser at noon.
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