Andrew Royal has been busy in the off season at Davidson Oval with the Old Collegians' under 18 female football side

FITTER: Old Collegians under 18 female footballers Emily Fisk and Ella Medley will start season 2018 on the back of a three-month pre-season. Picture: Christine Ansorge
FITTER: Old Collegians under 18 female footballers Emily Fisk and Ella Medley will start season 2018 on the back of a three-month pre-season. Picture: Christine Ansorge

OLD COLLEGIANS under 18 female coach Andrew Royal hopes a change in culture and a stronger pre-season will hold the Warriors in good stead for the second Deakin Uni Female Football League season.

Royal said his side had the benefit of training more over the off-season.

“We are a lot better than we were last year, we only had four training runs before last season and this year we have been training for around three months,” he told The Standard ahead of Sunday’s opener against inaugural premiers Horsham Saints.

“They wouldn't have had that in the past and they are getting use to it. Our girls have done that first season of football and know the rigours of the game and what is involved and they are up for it.”

The Warriors mentor said on-field progress wouldn’t be the only factor in Old Collegians’ drive to success.

“I've been trying to build a culture among the women and it's about getting them to enjoy it and enjoy each other,” he said.

“Once they are enjoying each other they will win more often on their own and I have some good experience out there but I also have some really good leaders, which makes a huge difference on the field.”

The competition will expand to 12 teams this year with Cobden, Port Fairy, Timboon Demons and Harrow-Balmoral joining foundation clubs South Warrnambool, Warrnambool, Hamilton Kangaroos, Portland, Old Collegians, Horsham Demons, Stawell and Horsham Saints.