AFLW Academy squad member Tara Slender has been appointed captain of the Latrobe University Bendigo Pioneers' girls squad for the 2021 NAB League season.
Slender, from the Strathfieldsaye Storm, heads a leadership group of seven players.
She's joined in the leadership group by three top-age players - Jayda Richardson (Moama), Madeline Marks (Strathfieldsaye) and Lily Den Houting (Sandhurst) - and three bottom-age players - Lila Keck (Sandhurst), Octavia Di Donato (South Bendigo) and Bryde O'Rourke (Strathfieldsaye).
"All of these girls deserve the opportunity to show their leadership skills,'' Pioneers' talent operations lead Brooke Brown said.
"They have worked extremely hard over the pre-season and we hope that they can drive the clubs values both on and off the field.
"I am extremely excited for our girls program this year, most importantly, I am excited to see them develop their football skills as the program progresses.
"It will only hold women's football, both in the region and at an elite level, in good stead moving forward."
With interim coach Danny O'Bree in charge, the Pioneers' start their 2021 NAB League girls season this Saturday against the Murray Bushrangers in Yarrawonga.
The NAB League competition has changed from under-18 to under-19 after the 2020 season was restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more: Slender earns AFLW Academy selection
Read more: Pioneers' girls squad for 2021 season
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.