Geoff West couldn't be happier to take over the reigns as head coach of the Eaglehawk women's football team.
West has been announced as the coach for the 2020 season, and he couldn't be more excited about his new role at the Borough.
"I just have a real passion for footy," West said.
"It has been great to see so many women come together to play football.
"It's a fun atmosphere, but also with a nice competitive side to it as well.
It's now also really inclusive thanks to the AFLW which has created lots of opportunities."
West has been involved with football for many years, with his passion starting back in his native Shepparton.
Within the Bendigo region he has been involved with the men's senior Aboriginal football team, junior coach at North Bendigo and most recently as the assistant coach for the Strathfieldsaye Storm's senior women's team.
"My wife Crystal has played for the past two years with the Thunder and Strathfieldsaye and also plays netball at Eaglehawk," West said.
"So when the opportunity came up as coach of the Eaglehawk women's team I thought I would have a crack.
"I am going to create a good culture, fun atmosphere and get back to basics, do all of the stuff that works well for the team.
"If you make people want to be part of a team it will then lead to on field success."
The team's 2019 captain Emma Windridge was over the moon when she heard about West coming to the Borough.
"He will be a great leader for us with such solid experience and communication skills which is very important," Windridge said.
The 2019 Central Victoria Football League Women's season was Eaglehawk's first year in the competition.
Former coach Allan Godfrey treated the season essentially as a development year for the team, but now with plenty of gained experience the squad will be ready to fire on all cylinders in 2020.
"We improved not just in our skills but the intensity and structure of how we played to showcase our ability on the field," Windridge said.
"But also the belief in ourselves, girls were hesitant at first but after a few games they were really able to attack the ball."
One memory from 2019 which continues to motivate Windridge is the experience of the team's first victory, round 10 at Canterbury Park with a 7.5 (47) to 0.1 (1) win over Strathfieldsaye.
"That game was something truly special," Windridge said.
"I'd never had a sporting victory like it, it was equivalent to any grand final."
"Something we all felt we deserved and worked really hard for months to achieve.
"Then to be able to sing our song was great."
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