Echuca Youth Girls team will be aiming for back-to-back flags when it takes part in this year's Shepparton and District Junior Football League.LUKE MCMANUS March 22, 2014 4:04am
Youth girls team members (from back left) Alyssa Clark, Tori-Lee Coatsworth, Rebecca Kennedy, Imogen Lamb, Nastassja Hansen, Jade Jones, Tanika Edwards, Larney Allan, Aisha Kirchhofer, Sophie Douglas; (front) Chelsea Williams, Alyx Glanville, Kiara Hiscox, Mya Mongta, Makayla Armstrong, Maddy Zlateff, Krystelle Lloyd.
Strength in numbers will be the key behind Echuca Youth Girls’ quest for back-to-back premierships.
The reigning premiers took to Victoria Park for the first time on Wednesday ahead of the second annual youth girls football season due to kick off in May.
Guided by coach David Pearson, the girls have been training for about three weeks and have been bolstered by a host of new faces.
Interest and awareness generated from the competition’s inaugural season has seen an injection of about 12 new players during the off-season, a number which the second-year coach noted should create healthy competition for spots during the side’s premiership tilt.
‘‘Our numbers are huge compared to last season,’’ Pearson said.
‘‘We were lucky to get 10 to training. We’re seeing a consistent number of about 19 at training this year and have about 24 on our list at the moment.
‘‘Whether all of them commit to playing is another thing but our numbers are looking really good.
‘‘Last year we were a bit desperate.
‘‘If they didn’t come to training, they could still play. This year if they’re not going to train, they may not get a game.
‘‘Numbers and ability wise, we’ll be hard to beat this season.’’
Pearson said the team carried a more ‘‘even spread of talent’’ compared to last season and the gap between the squad’s top and bottom tiered players had closed significantly.
The shift has allowed Pearson to implement a streamlined training strategy with the aim of fast-tracking the development of its players.
‘‘It’s difficult to up the ante with training because we have more newer players than original players, so skill-based drills and the basics are the most important,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ll try to incorporate more game-type scenarios mainly to teach the girls where to run and how to read the play.
‘‘This is where the more experienced girls can help.’’
The role of the squad’s senior girls was underlined after Pearson attended a Goulburn Murray coaches forum in Kialla on Monday night.
He walked away enlightened by Echuca United premiership coach Scott Beattie’s address in which he talked about a specialised mentor program at the Eagles.
‘‘We went away thinking we could do exactly the same thing (at Echuca),’’ Pearson said.
‘‘We have such a wide age group and we’ll look to the older girls to take the younger girls under their wing.
‘‘Hopefully we can buddy them up at training and in a game, to teach them the fundamentals and things we can’t teach them as coaches.’’
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
History is recorded to inspire the next generation, author John Northage said at the launch of, Mending the Goulburn Broken, in Shepparton last week.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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