2019 was another season full of development opportunities for females across the Goldfields region. We had our interleague programs where we were represented in the U16, U18 and Open Age groupings, as well as continued participation in the GWV Rebels Academy program, AFL Goldfields interstate trip, V/Line Cup and Western Bulldogs Next Generation Academy.
In February, our GWV Rebels Academy program kicked off what would be a year filled with growth and opportunity. Coaches and players were both given the chance to develop and enhance their skills both football-wise and as leaders across the course of the season. It was equally impressive to see the progress made by players and coaches throughout the duration of the competition in both the U18 and Futures program.
April saw our second interstate development trip to Tasmania take place. Following the huge success of our inaugural trip in 2018, the team of 24 players and their coaching and support staff took on the Southern Tasmania academy side in Hobart, followed by a clash with Northern Tasmania academy side in Launceston. The trip provided development opportunities for all involved in terms of both football and general life experience, which was great to see.
We continued our development programs post-season, with the V/Line Cup and Western Bulldogs Next Generation Academy round robin day through September. Our U15 Girls V/Line Cup team featured a strong AFL Goldfields presence with 13 of the 24 players being selected from our region. We also had fantastic representation from our area with 12 of the 23 players in the NGA round robin day hailing from Goldfields-based clubs. What a fantastic result!
Our interleague program also saw strong participation numbers and standard continue through games in June and September. Our Open Age Women’s side took on the VAFA and SEWFL, and our U16 and U18 squads took the field against AFL Central Victoria. Regardless of the outcomes, all sides held their heads high, made the most of the opportunity before them and represented AFL Goldfields with great pride.
Two of our AFL Goldfields Under 18 players who also participate in the GWV Rebels NAB League program were selected to represent Vic Country in the U18 Championships, along with five girls participating in the U16 Vic Country training squad. These success stories highlight the importance of our representative and development programs in providing quality opportunities for players across the region to enhance their skills and grow, not only as footballers, but as leaders and people.
We thank all of our clubs for their continued support and dedication to all of our representative programs, allowing us to provide the best opportunities for players across our competitions. It gave all players the opportunity to test themselves against some of the best players from other leagues, and match their talent against other young guns outside of the Goldfields region. Across all of our representative and development programs this year, each participant was able to take their learnings back to their respective clubs and help continue to develop the competition as a whole.