Geelong will look to further expand its female cricket program in the south-west next season after confirmation the club will be promoted to the Victorian Premier Cricket first XI competition.
The Cats - after winning the second XI women's premiership - have met Cricket Victoria criteria for promotion off the back of strong on-field results and the growth of their junior program among a range of off-field factors.
The team, which featured half a dozen Warrnambool and south-west based players including Steph Townsend, Tiegan Kavanagh, Jess Field, Maddie Green, Ruby Couch and Zara Kelly defeated Melbourne by eight wickets on Sunday, February 26.
The club's third XI fell agonisingly short in the grand final on the same day, meaning both of its Premier teams reached finals.
Director of women's cricket Sarah Pike said the inaugural premiership, achieved in only the club's second season and the subsequent promotion was a culmination of hard work from the ground up.
"It means a huge amount to us, there's been a lot of work put in by a lot of people through the south-west," she said.
"To get a premiership so soon just shows us that what we're doing is the right thing and that we are on the right track. We're so excited by the future.
"We feel we're building something special."
Pike says going up to the top-flight of women's cricket in Victoria, which will create a bye next season, is an achievement worth celebrating and believes the club has the structure in place for long-term success.
"We met with Liam Murphy (Premier Cricket general manager) and ticked off the off-field stuff which they were really happy with," she said.
"All the structures are in place, this year was about cementing that. Another year on, it's the right type of structure in place and we think we're really well placed.
"We've got some really talented players in the mix. The way our twos sides performed against a really strong Melbourne unit in the grand final shows how we go about our game and that we're right up there.
"We're excited to take another step up and showcase our players and talent because we now know we have what it takes."
Pike confirmed recruitment and planning would begin shortly but said Warrnambool duo and club leaders Steph Townsend and Tiegan Kavanagh were committed to next season.
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