BENDIGO Thunder made history last Saturday when it played a Victorian Women's Football League match at the Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Thunder took part in a curtain-raiser to the men's senior inter-league game - and it was the first time a female football side from the Bendigo region had their game broadcast live on local radio (101.5 Fresh FM) and played on the QEO.
The local girls took on the highly skilled Melbourne University outfit and they were well aware of the tough battle that lay ahead of them.
Melbourne Uni are a fiercely competitive team and have been part of the VWFL for nearly 18 years.
From the first bounce, Thunder applied a huge amount of pressure and tackled hard.
But the Melbourne Uni team lived up to its reputation of being a well-polished unit and proved to be much too good overall.
Bendigo was not able to record a score, while their opponents booted 33.27 to record a 225-point win.
Regardless of the scoreboard, Bendigo held their heads high and demonstrated great sportsmanship and professionalism.
Being part of this history-making match was a great experience and an absolute privilege.
Events such as this indicate just how fast women’s football is growing; this is the beginning of a very big picture.
As a member of the Thunder, I hope this is the first of many games to come on the QEO.
In youth girls football, round five proved to be another cracker, with outstanding results across the board.
Teagan Noonan kicked an impressive seven goals for Castlemaine, leading them to a 130-point win over North Bendigo.
Other winners included Huntly and Kangaroo Flat.
Unfortunately, Maryborough was unable to field a side again.
I strongly encourage girls to get involved in youth girls football as there are still plenty of available spots in the 2014 teams.
Lastly, I would like to wish the girls playing in the 2014 Bendigo Junior Football Development Squad the best of luck for their match against Shepparton in Mooroopna this weekend.
Grace Campbell is the AFL Victoria-Bendigo Advertiser Female Football Ambassador for this region. Schools interested in Grace hosting a girls' football clinic should contact Tony McNamara on 0419 103 178.