By Beverley Ford
THE national success of the women’s AFL football competition has rubbed off on Denmark.
The Denmark-Walpole Magpies next season will enter a team in the Great Southern Football League women’s division to compete against the four Albany teams – Railways, Albany Sharks, North Albany, and last year’s premiers, Royals.
The board of the Denmark-Walpole Football Club has been keen all year to establish a women’s team at McLean Park, so when Amber Jeeves contacted club president Kim Barrow about the possibility it was eagerly embraced.
Amber has since been joined by Jodie Hickey to help her develop the team, and Jodie has agreed to coach the first season.
Jodie has been a GSFL umpire for a number of years, and has great knowledge and experience of AFL football and sport generally.
She has played and coached a number of other ‘traditional’ women’s sports, such as netball, basketball and softball.
“Umpiring football and being out there in the middle of the field with the players gives you a perspective on the game that you don’t get watching from the sidelines,” she said.
“It gives you an insight into what the players have to deal with and the skills they need.”
Though Amber has not played football before, as a youngster she used to join her dad in kick-to-kick at the local park.
A professional personal trainer, Amber ran a ‘boot camp’ training business until she decided to take a break and spend more time with her two young sons.
“This is something new, something exciting – a new challenge that’s a little bit scary, but that’s okay,” Amber said about the season ahead.
Women play a ten-game season in the GSFL, including finals.
Last year the season started in March and culminated with the grand final on May 10.
It is anticipated that Denmark would host at least two home games, which are all played on a Friday night.
“This is a very progressive development for our club, and a great opportunity to extend the social aspects of the club over what has been the off-season,” Kim said.
“We look forward to supporting all the girls who play and contribute to the Maggies.”
Pre-season training is expected to start next month, and Amber and Jodie are seeking expressions of interest from anyone who wants to give it a go – including our neighbours at the Mount Barker Bulls.
About 25 girls have already indicated that they would like to be involved.
If you would like to discuss the team and the prospect of playing footy for the Magpies, please give Amber a call on 0417 938 465, or Jodie on 0448 875 977 or 9848 2248.