The Bendigo Pioneers’ under-18 girls squad have received tutelage from four of the Bendigo Football Netball League’s finest players.
Strathfieldsaye’s Lachlan Sharp, Golden Square’s Jack Geary, Sandhurst’s Lee Coghlan and Eaglehawk’s Josh Bowe volunteered their time to put the squad through its paces at pre-season training.
The quartet has won eight BFNL premierships, the Michelsen Medal three times and represented the BFNL at Country Championship level for the best part of a decade.
“It was really good to add some speciality into training,’’ Pioneers under-18 girls coach Shawn McCormick said.
“Lachy Sharp has the goal sense, Jack Geary has great aerobic fitness, Lee Coghlan and Josh Bowe are great ball winners.
“The four of them were able to teach the girls some tricks of the trade and it was good for the girls to hear some different voices for a change.
“It’s testament to the four of them that they gave up their time to come out to training and they’re all keen to come back again.
“It compliments the program well.”
Pre-season training for the Pioneers’ girls squad started three weeks ago and McCormick has been impressed by what he’s seen.
“The girls are really enthusiastic and keen,’’ he said.
“It’s a little bit difficult because we have such a new group and we also have girls in Midura and Swan Hill.
“The girls are developing well and I’ve been really impressed with the players who have come along to try out even though they don’t have a footballing background.
“It’s been pretty intense, but the girls are handling it really well.”
The 2018 TAC Cup girls season starts in early March and the competition has been extended from five rounds to nine.
“We’ll have our last training session before Christmas on December 17 and then we’ll start up again in mid-January,’’ McCormick said.
“We’ll finalise our list after our last intra-club practice game in Wycheproof in early February.
“We’ll have a final list of 31 or 32 players and then we’ll start practice matches.
“The season starts the first week of March and it looks like we might have five home games in Bendigo which will be great.”
The Bendigo Pioneers under-18 girls won one game out of five matches in the inaugural season in 2017.
The victory was in the club’s only home game against the Gippsland Power at Golden Square.
The Pioneers had three players – Aish Tupper, Jordyn Jolliffe and Eden Zanker – selected in the 2017 All-Australian squad.
Zanker went on to be drafted by AFLW club the Melbourne Demons.