Girls' football day unearths the game's future stars

ORGANISERS of the inaugural Warrnambool girls’ football gala day believe they have unearthed a couple of “gems” for the future.

Renee Savlitis, 11, is all smiles during the skills and fitness session at Reid Oval. 140707AS21 Picture: AARON SAWALL

Renee Savlitis, 11, is all smiles during the skills and fitness session at Reid Oval. 140707AS21 Picture: AARON SAWALL

Eleven girls from across the region honed their skills as part of the two-hour session at Reid Oval yesterday.

Program ambassador Alicia Drew said the modest interest was an encouraging step towards building the popularity of football among females.

Five participants had already played for representative side Western Rebels while six were taking their first tentative steps in the sport.

“The six girls we picked up were younger girls, they were only 11, 12, 13,” Drew said.

“We’re not going to be able to do much with them in the short term but if we can hold on to them for the next 24 months, we’ve got plenty to offer them.

“But in terms of skill level I was shocked, they were very good, they knew what they were doing. It was really encouraging to see their skills were fantastic.”

The day involved skills and fitness for 90 minutes before a five-a-side scratch match.

Sarah Smith, 12, enjoys the girls’ football gala day. 
140707AS20 Picture: AARON SAWALL

Sarah Smith, 12, enjoys the girls’ football gala day.  140707AS20 Picture: AARON SAWALL

Drew said there were opportunities for girls who took their football seriously to play at state level.

She was confident there were more girls in Warrnambool and its surrounding towns who were interested in taking up the sport.

“I don’t mind if we keep finding these younger ones,” she said.

“As long as we can keep them together for the next couple of years, we’re going to have a good pool to work with.

“There are plenty more girls out there, we need to find them and let them know we’re here, there is something for them.”

The youth girls’ football program runs at Reid Oval each Monday from 4.30pm and Drew encouraged interested players to attend.

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