It may be Redan and East Point’s fourth clash this season, but the AFL Goldfields Women’s grand final will also present many firsts.
READY: East Point head coach Michael Colville and captain Zoe Wathen at Ballarat's Mars Stadium are looking forward to another tough challenge against Redan. Picture: Dylan Burns
Sunday’s blockbuster showdown between the two most dominant sides of the season will be played at twilight on Ballarat’s biggest stage of all – Mars Stadium.
Redan coach Peter Forbes moved his team’s training sessions to City Oval to better replicate the dimensions of the Mars Stadium surface, while the players also practised with a yellow ball to prepare for the fading light.
But he said what made the event more significant than just the location was the fact two Ballarat senior women’s teams had never faced off in a grand final, let alone won the premiership.
Forbes believed the key strength to his squad this year had been its depth, but was also impressed by the maturity and skill improvement his players had shown throughout the season.
EXCITED: Redan co-captains Georgie Hassell and Erin Burns will be on the hunt for premiership glory when they lead their team out on grand final day. Pictures: Dylan Burns
Redan co-captain Erin Burns said she could not be more proud of the team they had become this year.
“The skill level across the board has improved each week, which is a testament to the effort the girls put in at training,” she said.
“We know we have a tough game ahead of us. East Point has been the most challenging side to play all season, but we are so excited to have the opportunity to play on Mars Stadium and we are committed to giving it our all.”
East Point captain Zoe Wathen said there was a mixture of nerves and excitement among the Dragons.
“It’s not a ground we’re that familiar with, but we know it’s the premier ground in Ballarat so we’re glad we get to play on it,” she said.
Wathen attributed East Point’s impressive season to an improvement structurally with a few new faces and a team-first mentality rather than focus on individuals.
She believed the Dragons had really clicked over the last couple of months and had hit form at the right time.
“We knew they (Redan) would probably be the team to beat right from the start of the season,” Wathen said.
“We’ve had very close games with them in the season and we’re hoping those games have shown we are capable of defeating them.”
AFL GOLDFIELDS YOUTH GIRLS:
Lake Wendouree v Redan, 9am
Lake Wendouree v Ballarat, 10.30am
Sunbury Kangaroos v Gisborne Blue, 12.07pm
BALLARAT UNDER-13 JUNIOR GIRLS:
North Ballarat v Redan, 1.40pm
RIDDELL UNDER-13 JUNIOR GIRLS:
Bacchus Marsh v Gisborne White, 2.53pm
Redan v East Point, 4.10pm
BALLARAT UNDER-13 JUNIORS
NORTH BALLARAT: Jarrah Bowman, Georgia Bodey, Jemma Amoore, Bianca Harvey, Bianca Gallagher, Elly Polkinghorne, Myah Grylewicz, Molly Fraser, Sophia Robinson, Daisy Darbin, Georgia Partington, Emma Aikman, Lucy Fraser, Isabella Davies, Kate Aikman, Maya Driscoll, Freya Haynes, Bella Ford, Delaney Troon, Amy Talbot, Molly Davies
REDAN: Savannah Abson, Laura Banks, Ella Bray, Jasmine Cahill, Isla Cahill, Rose Canavan, Abbey Coombes-Schepis, Bindi Crabtree, Tyla Crabtree, Ava Dalziel, Sarah Guirguis, Lily Jordan, Piper Joyce, Kate Knight, Paige Livingston, Freya Palmer, Madeline Pierce, Ella Ralston, Mathilda Rivers, Jade Spernovasilis, Jordyn Straga, Matilda Waight, Caitlyn Walker, Gemma Walton
BACCHUS MARSH: Matilda Woods, Jasmyn Van Der Poel, Chloe Gibson, Taruni Naidu, Chloe Walker, Jorja Faulkhead, Taylor Farrugia, Jorja Lewin, Tamara Henry, Mia Faulkhead, Kwanii Alcazar, Lauren Martin, Sophie Bill, Ella Bishop, Janai Hayes, Olivia Dilges, Paige Meyer, Elise Cook, Monique Scardamaglia, Natalie Henley-Smith, Tayah James, Tansy Seymour, Grace Robertson
GISBORNE WHITE: Paige Sabo, Imogen Sparrow, Stella Lynch, Amelia Webb, Maisie Broome, Charlotte Lindo, Madison Brown, Tamsyn Williams, Kate Noonan, Louise Brierty, Ella Randle-Messaoudi, Milly Shaw, Alexandra Ball, Ava Bradbury, Ginger Mackenzie, Shakira Parker, Charlotte Watson, Phoebe Prout, Jessica Ponton, Cienna Strachan, Bridie Collings, Sienna Green, Elvie Higgs, Chelsea Cerone
AFL GOLDFIELDS UNDER-15 YOUTH
LAKE WENDOUREE: Claire Booth, Nyaachangkuoth Dojiok, Elissa Dunn, Beatrice Douhadji, Ruby Francis, Delta Greenhalgh, Emma-Rose Hewitt, Bethany Hucker, Roda Koang, Holly Jennings, Charlii Johnson, Tahlia Meier, Amiilea Ross, Madeleine Seekbeck, Marnie Shrive, Zara Steenhuis, Charlotte Waight, Ruby Wakefield, Alexandra Walshe, Lily-Cate Mullane
REDAN: Layla Russell, Ruby Delaney, Annalise Baldwin, Naomi Hooper, Felicity Jones, Molly Buttler, Isabella Dalziel, Charli Ross, Ruby Stephens, Kiarra Chapman, Karly Flood, Mackenzie Smale, Lara Pinder, Chelsea Randich, Lily Delaney, Lucy Ross, Millie Lang, Finley Frazer, Kate McCahon
LAKE WENDOUREE: Aishwarya Thapa, Alannah Stevens, Ami McDonald-Williams, Delta Greenhalgh, Faith Greenhalgh, Georgette Douhadji, Grace Moneghetti, Hannah Simpson, Hayley Bentley, Janessa Fitzgerald, Jenna Welsh, Josie Castles, Keely Shillito, Nyakoat Dojiok, Rose McErvale, Shannon Hearn, Shayla Walshe, Sophie Molan, Tahlia Meier, Teresa Heath, Tiana Shillito, Tori Edwards, Victoria Jewell, Zali Palmer, Zoe Denahy
BALLARAT SWANS: Alyssa Trethowan, Ashley Tonks, Caitlin Bik, Cassandra Kawa, Charlotte Ross, Chloe Leonard, Chloe Ronan, Emily Selkirk, Georgia Pidgeon, Hannah Parish, Isabelle Rustman, Jannah Cole, Katie McAloon, Lisa Smith, Mackenzie O'Neill, Makayla Bellwood, Millie Eastman, Molly Bridges, Olivia Leonard, Phoebe Jenkins, Portia Hughes, Rylee Booth, Shayla Lamb, Tarni Jarvis, Zoe Larkins
SUNBURY KANGAROOS: Abbey McDonald, Abbey -Roze Smille, Alisha Clarke, Ashley Peters, Breanna Tarczon, Caylee Tirchett, Caytlyn Walker, Chelsea Keck, Chelsea Houston, Gemma McGann, Grace Knight, Hope O'Brien, Karla Dalisay, Leyla Campbell, Molly Heales, Natalie Dunne, Rikki-Lee O'Brien, Ruby Burnside, Shanae Fruend, Shannon Horton
GISBORNE ROOKIES: Abbey Vickery, Tameka Schwass, Laila O'Donnell, Grace Krstev, Sarah Turner, Hayley Mitchell, Nicole Steward, Olivia Peterson, Elly McIntosh, Lillian Broome, Laura Weatherall, Alexandra Cairney, Kirrily Mitchell, Sophie Ellen, Rebecca Merrett, Olivia Floreani, Tamisha Love, Sofia Barham, Una Mitchell, Indigo Schwass, Courtney Taylor, Loree Newton, Chiara Dickens
REDAN: Rebecca Absalom, Ella McGregor, Brigit Allan, Rachel Middlin, Victoria Blackwood, Emily Payne, Tylah Bruhn, Madison Quayle, Erin Burns, Richter Angel, Jordyn Chapman, Lee Rogerson, Jamilla Cranny, Rose Russell, Tara Curtis, Elena Sewell-Dolphin, Maddison Edwards, Shannon Simpson, Kirby Fenwick, Hayley Smith, Maighan Fogas, Jessica Steicke, Danielle Gills, Lori Stepnell, Lauren Harvey, Carly Twaits, Georgie Hassell, Rebecca Van Oorschot, Jedda Heard, Kaitlyn Waldie, Jessica Jory, Lilly Kerr, Amy McDonald.
EAST POINT: Chloe McIntosh, Claire Bourdon, Chloe Hegert, Jaye Dalgliesh, Zoe Wathen, Samantha Robertson-Leech, Kacie Mitchell, Gemma Free, Winona Greenhalgh, Kate Westbrook, Jessie Cartledge, Lauren Kelly, Rebecca Jones, Robyn MacDonald, Jasmine Coleman, Keirah Metcalfe, Emily Boswell, Anna Baxter, Amber Green, Kat Avery, Darien Wilson, Georgi Fogarty, Amber Ives, Jess Handley, Jess Bokma, Zoe Russell, Tara David, Kylaah Neil, Larissa Murph