Bendigo Thunder stars impress Tigers at come and try day

FOUR Bendigo Thunder stars have impressed at a Richmond Football Club organised come and try day.

Thunder skipper Leah French, Tiahna Cochrane, Kodi Jacques and Aish Tupper were among 20 female footballers to be put through their paces by the Tigers AFL Women's development officer Kate Sheahan last week.

It was the first of two appearances last week on the hallowed Punt Road Oval turf for the quartet.

The Northern Football League Women's competition ladder leaders played a home game against Kew at the AFL Tigers' home on Sunday.

Come and try day participants included athletes from various sporting backgrounds, including tennis, netball and hockey.

Sheahan, who signed as a rookie and played for Collingwood in the inaugural season of AFLW, joined the Tigers as their operations manager in May.

It came hot on the heels of the launch of Richmond's bid to secure its own AFLW team in time for the 2019 season.

Sheahan was clearly impressed with the array of talent on show at the come and try day, including the Thunder quartet.

“We ran some testing - some physical testing and some football skills down on the oval,” she said.

“We wanted to see what a few girls from other sports would do when they got a footy in their hand, so we had a few drills where it wasn’t about football skills it was about throwing the footy and movement.

“Sometimes you don’t find AFL players by watching those who can kick and mark, it’s more about their movement and their speed.”

Sheahan was able to enlist the help of Tigers senior players Dan Butler, Kane Lambert and Jayden Short for the skills session.

The Tigers, who this season entered into a partnership with the Bendigo Thunder, are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to unearth talented footballers from its Next Generation Academy Program zone.

They hosted a come and try day for girls and boys aged 11 to 15 at Weeroona Oval earlier in the season in May.

The come and try day was the start of a busy few weeks for Tupper, who this week will represent Victoria Country at the NAB AFL Women's Under-18 Championships in Queensland.

She missed Sunday's 9.9 (63) to 2.4 (16) win over Kew for the undefeated Thunder.

Fellow come and try day participants French, Jacques and Cochrane were all named in the best players, with Jacques one of two Thunder players to finish with three goals.