Thunder welcome new era in premier division

Bendigo Thunder coach Russell Jeffrey

Bendigo Thunder coach Russell Jeffrey

THE Bendigo Thunder begin a new chapter in their history on Sunday when they play their first game in the Victorian Women's Football League premier division.

Having won the past two premierships at north west division level, the Thunder make the step up to the top grade, with their first clash against VU St Albans at Kings Park Reserve.

“It’s just like four years ago when we were preparing for our first season,” Thunder coach Russell Jeffrey said.

“So it’s very much a new beginning for us.

“We’ve got players coming from as far away as Shepparton and Echuca and it has been a bit of a challenge getting everyone training together, so it’s going to be interesting to see how we go.”

The Thunder breezed their way through the north west division one season last year, winning all 17 games by an average of 66 points.

The Thunder averaged 78 points per game last year, but will this season have more of a defensive focus.

“Our game plan will be far more defensive than last year,” Jeffrey said.

“We’ve been very attacking over the past three seasons, but this year we’ll be prepared to hold the ball a little longer if needed and be more cautious.”

Dual premiership captain Emma Wolters will again skipper the Thunder.

Sunday’s opponent, St Albans, finished seventh in the premier division last year.

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