THE enormity of becoming the first Deakin University Female Football League women's premier won't be felt for decades.
That's the assessment from victorious coach Brenton O'Rourke after he guided South Warrnambool to an historic 2.1 (13) to 1.3 (9) triumph against Portland at Cavendish Recreation Reserve on Sunday.
O'Rourke believes the Roosters' legacy will resonate with players who were inspired to take up football after following the trailblazing team's undefeated maiden season.
"It's something quite special," he said.
"To have had the season they've had and to approach things the way they have, it will only intensify the interest.
"Everyone is always made to feel welcome, that's a big focus of ours."
O'Rourke said the Roosters, who went through the six-round season undefeated to book their grand final spot, deserved their success.
"I don't think it will sink in now. The 10-year, 20-year, 30-year reunions are all big things for male (players), especially older males, to catch up," he said.
"And to think this group will do it as the (club's) first group of women.
"The girls were really up and about and I don't think the result would've affected the joy they get from footy, it just added an extra level of joy."
South Warrnambool overcame hurdles in the decider.
It was eight points down at quarter-time in a low-scoring affair and suffered injuries to Jane McMeel, who was awarded the best on ground medal as judged by the umpires, and co-captain Hannah Meates.
McMeel hurt her leg and Meates suffered a wrist problem.
Co-captain Laini Johnson, who won the AFL Victoria medal, also took a knee injury into the match.
O'Rourke said forward Brittany Sinclair was a game-changer when she moved into the ruck.
"We are a skilful team, we're better on the outside," he said.
"We move the ball around the ground against the tight, contested pack-style Portland plays.
"The times we broke out of the pack were good to watch but Portland came to play. We earned our win."
O'Rourke praised McMeel, Meates and Johnson for their commitment to the contest.
"Jane came off late with a leg clash and it isn't looking great," he said.
"She is an absolute champion and seeing someone develop so quickly in the space of seven games is exciting for her to see where she can take her football."
Johnson was given the all clear to play mid-week.
"Laini had a sore knee last week and we were worried it was an ACL," O'Rourke said.
"She was taped up and, like all captains do, she put her head over the ball and set the tone."
Johnson, 19, said it was a relief to play.
"When I did my knee I was so emotional because after all the hard work to do a knee in the second last game (was upsetting)," she said.
"After I was given the all-clear from the doctor, I was so happy."
Johnson said the grand final result was "bloody amazing".
"I thought they had us in the first quarter," she said.
"They put on a really good show but thankfully in the end we got into gear and got the win."
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