By Tash Gunawardana
EFNL WOMEN’S PREVIEW ROUND 3:
The EFNL Women’s season rolls on as we enter May, and whilst it’s still very early in season 2021, each game is carrying more and more importance.
Chirnside Park Black: In round two, Chirnside Park Black were on the brink of losing their first match of the season, but out of nowhere they kicked into gear and showed Vermont that they are still the team to beat in the Premier Division.
Inside Word: “We were looking forward to facing Vermont and from the first bounce it was clear it would be a tough race for the four points,” Captain Carly Robson said. “Trailing behind for the majority of the game, we didn’t drop our heads and ended up walking away with a three-goal win! The girls put up a great fight and both teams enjoyed the challenge on the field. We are looking forward to facing Blackburn this weekend, we know they will be tough competitors, but we are ready to rise for another challenge.”
Donvale Black: A strong showing from Donvale Black in round two as they got on the board this season. They will be tested this week against South Croydon, but a test they will not shy away from. Expect a belter.
Inside Word: “This is by far the most exciting game from Donvale’s point of view,” Donvale coach Alan Chung continued. “South Croydon have the most impressive back five/six I’ve seen, their defenders are so strong and reliable, so the challenge all day will be even getting on the scoreboard. We’ll be debuting more players for their first senior game this year and looking for total team effort. The South Croydon team have elite runners and foot speed, so it’s going to create an interesting headache and hard-fought contest for four quarters.”
Blackburn Black: Blackburn Black will have their work cut out in round three when they come up against reigning premier and fellow undefeated team Chirnside Park Black.
Inside Word: “There is no doubting that Chirnside were the benchmark in 2019 and from results, look like being very strong contenders in 2021,” Blackburn Black Premier women’s Leann Gill continued. “We had mixed results against them in 2019, getting to within three points of the eventual premiers during the season. This will be a great test for us, we know we have to bring our A game and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
South Croydon Blue: After two straight losses for South Croydon Blue, they will look to register their first four points of the season against Donvale Black.
Inside Word: “We believe we are improving with every game and have learnt what it takes a good four quarters to compete at this level,” senior coach Simon Hammersley said. “With a round three matchup against a fast-moving Donvale team, we know we will need to bring our best to be in the game at the end.”
Vermont: After a crushing loss to Chirnside Park Black last week, Vermont will look to bounce back in round three. The pain and disappointment of losing after leading for the first three quarters would be burning inside of the Vermont ladies and will spur them on this week against Whitehorse Suns.
Inside Word: “Another big test for us,” Vermont coach Tim DaSilveria explained. “Whitehorse played off in the Granny last year and will be keen to get back onto the winners list. We’re looking forward to absorbing whatever they throw at us and testing ourselves against a good side on the rebound!”
Whitehorse Suns: If Whitehorse Suns want to get off the bottom, they will need to upset quality opponent Vermont and produce their 2019 form to turn their fortunes around.
Inside Word: “Looking forward to coming up against Vermont, they’ve always been a great competitor,” Whitehorse skipper Ciara Knight continued. “Hoping to get up for our first win of the season.”
Berwick: What an impressive start to women’s football it has been for Berwick after 10 years away. Berwick have gone from a team no one knew much about to arguably the most feared team in Division One.
Inside Word: “We’re excited to build on our great start and ensure that we bring energy and consistency every week,” Berwick coach Matt De Poilly said.
SBL Wolves: SBL Wolves will be keen to prove themselves against a rested The Basin (bye last round) when they travel to Batterham Reserve as they look to get on the board in 2021.
North Ringwood: Bye
Park Orchards: After a confidence boosting 27-point win in round two, Park Orchards will hope this continues against new quality side Berwick as they try to become the first team in the competition to knock off the red-hot Wickers.
The Basin: The Basin will hope their momentum from round one continues into round three after they come back from last rounds bye.
Inside Word: “South Belgrave in round three for us will be a talking point,” The Basin Senior Women’s Coach Mat Bailey said. “There are a lot of teams that made finals and won premierships in Division One and we expect there to be some tough games and times ahead. We’re really looking to create a bit of a fortress down at Batterham. So, getting on top our game around the contest is a must in the week after the bye.”
East Ringwood: East Ringwood have been the struggling team of Division One losing by a combined margin of 158 points from the opening two rounds and have only scored three goals for the whole season. They will be determined to get the monkey off the back with a win over Ferntree Gully on Saturday morning.
Boronia Brown: Boronia Brown will be oozing with confidence after they secured their first victory of the season and hope this will drive them against their round three opposition Rowville, a side that will look to get back to their best and prove that they are worthy to be in Division One.
Inside Word: “Every week will be tough and 2019 Premiers Rowville, no different,” Boronia Senior Women’s Coach Scott Nicholas said “We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Ferntree Gully: In round three, Ferntree Gully will play their first home game and will hope it is a happy homecoming against East Ringwood. There is a lot to look forward to for Ferntree Gully with their new first season players bringing the effort and energy across the game. The third placed Ferntree Gully will go into the match as favourites, but we should not underestimate East Ringwood because who knows this might be the round the Kangaroos bounce back.
Inside Word: “This week we’re excited to be at home for the first time this year, with all four senior teams playing at Wally Tew,” senior coach Tim Cavanagh mentioned. “Playing East Ringwood this week who we’ve never played before, we know they’ve had a tough first couple of weeks, but things change so quickly in this competition and the improvement curves are so rapid that we’re sure we’ll be challenged and need to play our best to get the win. We will also welcome back Bec Lia for her first game of the year after a knee injury.”
Rowville: In round three, Rowville will look to produce their best football against Boronia Brown on Saturday afternoon at Seebeck Oval. Rowville will need to be at their best if they want to breakthrough with the win, because Boronia Brown will be determined to get their second win on the trot.
Ringwood: Ringwood sent a message to the rest of the competition that they are a team that will feature in the finals this season after their comprehensive result last week over quality side Heathmont.
Inside Word: “Another great performance from our girls winning against Heathmont in a big Anzac round – each round we’re gelling and learning and it’s exciting,” Women’s Football Coordinator Zoe Price said. “We let ourselves down a bit with our accuracy and one percenters at the start of the game but we set ourselves some small targets and nailed them. This week we are coming up against Kilsyth and we’re expecting a tough game with both of us coming in 2-0 – should be a good one to watch on Jubilee’s main stage.”
Knox: Knox will look to put their second win in a row on the board when they come up against Surrey Park.
Inside Word: “It was great to get a win and a goal, especially in front of a big Knox crowd,” Knox women’s coach PJ Jordan said. “Sarah Plumridge won our Anzac award as the most courageous player. Nikki Whitten also played well. We head to Surrey Park this week and if we maintain the same intensity, we expect to be competitive.”
Kilsyth: Kilsyth are the ladder leaders, and they will hope their unbeaten record can remain intact when they play their round three opponent in Ringwood.
Inside Word: “We meet Ringwood this week which will test us,” Clint Martin Kilsyth women’s coach explained. “With both teams undefeated I’m sure it will be a really competitive game. Our backline has been good however Ringwood has shown, from past games, they can create numerous scoring opportunities. The girls are improving each week so we’re really looking forward to this game.”
Heathmont: As a new side, Heathmont have had a reasonable start to the season with a 1-1 record, but they will be eager to improve their record to 2-1 with a victory over Montrose on Friday night under lights at Montrose Recreation Reserve.
Montrose: Montrose are still winless from the opening two rounds and sit second last on the ladder with a poor percentage of 25.88. It was a better performance from Montrose in round two to keep their opposition to just a goal, as in the opening round they conceded 12 majors and loss by 60-points. A win will do Montrose’s confidence the world of good and prove that they belong in Division Two after a winless start to 2021.
Surrey Park: Surrey Park will look to get back on the winners list after they suffered a huge loss to Kilsyth by 40-points. In round three, Surrey Park will take on Knox and expect this match to go down to the wire as Surrey Park search of their first win of the season and will do everything possible against fourth placed Knox.
Chirnside Park Gold: Looking ahead to round three, Chirnside Park Gold would be the early premiership favourite. They have had such a dominant opening two rounds scoring 26 goals and have only conceded four goals and six behinds. They clash with fourth placed Blackburn Red and it will be a tough match between two teams that will be there at the pointy end of the season.
Inside Word: “The reserve ladies got off to a flying start against Croydon North MLOC kicking eight goals in the first quarter and keeping Croydon North to just one point,” Premier division captain Carly Robson said of her clubmates. “The momentum didn’t stop there and with seven different goal kickers for the day, Jessie kicking a whopping five goals, the ladies secured the first win of the day by 87-points. The ladies are looking forward to being back at the home ground this weekend to face Blackburn.”
Blackburn Red: Blackburn Red sit in fourth spot, with one win to their name and they have Division Three’s toughest challenge this week coming up against the might of the competition and heavyweight Chirnside Park Gold at their home ground. To ensure they stay in the match for long periods of time, Blackburn Red’s defence will need to be at their best and put a halt to Chirnside’s heavy scoring. If Blackburn Red succeed at stopping Chirnside’s scoring, then who knows they could cause a massive upset and scalp.
Croydon North MLOC: After the first two rounds, Croydon North MLOC are second last and luckily for them because they come up against fellow struggler and the sixth placed Donvale Green in round four. Expect this match to be tight and to go down to the end.
FairPark: It has been the impeccable start FairPark dreamed off, winning their first two matches in their inaugural women’s season. FairPark showed again in round two that being the newcomers does not bother them, because they have shown the two teams that they have played that they are a high scoring and competitive side averaging 70 points.
Inside Word: “The way these girls are developing, and their hunger to be better is amazing to see, and we are really looking forward to seeing what Coldstream have to bring next week and see if we can just make it three in a row for the Lions, or as they’ve taken over and called themselves and I’ll admit I’ve bought in, THE MIGHTY CUBS!” coach Simon Aloi said.
Coldstream: What a way to bring up your first ever women’s football win for Coldstream, who defeated Boronia Gold in fine fashion by 49-points. They hope their winning ways continues when they play the ladder leaders FairPark at home. Coldstream will need to play their best football and stop FairPark’s attack, because as the cubs have shown in the first two rounds they can score heavily.
Donvale Green: After a disappointing 63-point loss, Donvale Green will be in search of their first victory. Donvale Green’s round four matchup with Croydon North MLOC will be a close encounter with both teams yet to register a win in 2021, so expect both teams to have nothing left in the tank.
Boronia Gold: Boronia Gold dawdle in last spot, winless and with a modest percentage of 10.26. It is hard to know when Boronia Gold’s first win will come as they have only scored two goals from the opening two rounds with a goal scored in each of the matches. Based on current form, it will be tough going for Boronia Gold in round three when they face the third placed South Croydon Red, a side that has won their first two matches by an average margin of 42 and a half points.
South Croydon Red: South Croydon Red will be confident heading into their round three clash with the last placed Boronia Gold. It has been high scoring for South Croydon Red and they sit on the different end of the spectrum compared to Boronia Gold that sit on the low scoring end of the spectrum, so if this trend continues expect South Croydon Red to hand Boronia Gold another heavy defeat.