Warrnambool's Emmanuel College launches female football academy

KICKING GOALS: Emmanuel College's Anneliese Boschen, 14, Mali Baillie, 14, and Catie Ragg, 13, are in its football academy. Picture: Christine Ansorge
KICKING GOALS: Emmanuel College's Anneliese Boschen, 14, Mali Baillie, 14, and Catie Ragg, 13, are in its football academy. Picture: Christine Ansorge

A WARRNAMBOOL school is hoping it can help produce the next batch of AFLW stars.

Emmanuel College has launched its female football academy – a year nine program aimed at improving students’ skills and game sense.

PE co-ordinator Michael Clements said academy coach Glen Martin had 25 players which was “a quarter of our year nine cohort” in the inaugural intake.

Clements said the students would enjoy three hours of practicial work and an hour-long theoretical session each week.

“There is an increase in women’s football which is fantastic and obviously the introduction of AFLW has led to that, but there was already a groundswell of female football in the area,” he said. 

“We’re just trying to cater for students’ needs as best we can as a school so as things change we’re trying to evolve with it.

“We’ll scaffold some more complex tasks as we go and some game-sense activities where they can practice decision-making like where to move to receive the ball, when to release the ball at the right time.

“At the moment we’ll just be mastering skills but at the same time, the only way they will master them is if they are exposed in a game sense.”

Clements said he hoped students, if they wanted, joined the increasingly popular AFL Western District Wimmera-Mallee girls youth league.

“They’re enthusiastic, they’re keen and Glen is doing a wonderful job,” he said.

“He’s enthusiastic, he’s professional, he’s running laps with them, he’s doing the warm-up with them.

“He really wants to be on the journey with them.”

Anneliese Boschen, who plays for Warrnambool, said she hoped her Emmanuel schoolmates would join her in competition.

“It is used to improve the girls’ skills and make them join (clubs) outside of school footy,” she said of the football academy.