GWV Rebels name line-up for TAC Cup Girls opener |video

ALL SET: Head coach Jeff Whittaker with Amy McDonald, Lauren Butler and Jazz Kawa. Picture: Lachlan Bence

ALL SET: Head coach Jeff Whittaker with Amy McDonald, Lauren Butler and Jazz Kawa. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Greater Western Victoria Rebels head coach Jeff Whittaker says under-age girls’ football will go to a new level in the inaugural TAC Cup Girls season.

He said there had been a significant rise in intensity and competitiveness, and improvement in skills in the build-up to the Rebels opening game against Western Jets at Learmonth on Saturday.

Whittaker said the introduction of AFLW had changed the whole outlook for under-18 girls’ football, with a clear pathway to an elite level now available.

He said the change had been quite evident through an increase in interest and the general dynamics of the squad, with more players with a variety of skill bases and sporting backgrounds getting involved.

Whittaker is confident the Rebels will acquit themselves well in the abbreviated five-round season.

He said the team did not have particular strengths.

“There’s flexibility across the squad.”

Whittaker said there was a real buzz in and around the squad as the first match approached, with this evident in the last pre-season training session at White Flat on Wednesday night.

Murray Bushrangers and Bendigo Pioneers kicked off the new 12-team competition at Punt Road Oval on Saturday, with Bushrangers winning 13.5 (83) to 2.1 (13).

The Rebels and Western Jets play as part of a doubleheader at Learmonth. They meet at noon, with Northern Knights and Geelong Falcons playing at 10.30am.

REBELS LINE-UP

B: Tarra Jasper (Horsham), Sophie Molan (L Wendouree), Kate Gleeson (South West)

HB: Ayesha Nicholson (Ararat), Sophie Van De Heuvel (Ballarat), Lauren Butler (Maryborough)

C: Aily McAuliffe (Horsham), Amy McDonald (Redan), Ella Wood (Ararat)

HF: Chloe Leighton (South West), Jasmine Kawa (Redan), Cecilia Lowrey (Warrnambool)

F: Amelia Monk (Warrnambool), Alyssa Humphries (Ararat), Denver Henson (S Warrnambool)

R: Rene Caris (Quantong), Ella Bibby (Warracknabeal), Amy Jackson (L Wendouree)

Inter: Faith McKenzie (Horsham), Kristen Prebble (Redan), Hannah Simpson (Ballarat), Tess Marra (Nhill), Isabel Fraser (Ballarat), Nekaela Butler (Ararat)

Emerg: Portia Hughes, Jaymie Saunders