PROVIDING a pathway for local women to do what Jessica Dal Pos has done, come from obscurity to win a berth in the inaugural all-Australian AFLW team, is the overriding aim of the new Bass Coast Breakers Women’s Football Club.
But, it’s also about having a passion for playing the game and having fun, and last Sunday, the Breakers fuelled that passion again with yet another win in their first season, against Bunyip at home.
It provided the perfect finish to a big weekend which started with a special all-women footy clinic, featuring GWS best and fairest player, Jessica Dal Pos, last Friday, and a season launch and jumper presentation night at The Wonthaggi Club afterwards.
Following on from the success of the first AFLW season and their own local success, the vibe in the room, in support of the BC Breakers was all positive. Bass Coast Mayor Cr Pam Rothfield was there in support.
And the room was filled with sponsors, supporters and family members as players went up, one-by-one to formally accept the jumpers they have already being wearing on the field with distinction.
Leading figures in the local club, Tess and Ella Angarane, MC’d the night which benefitted greatly by the presence of such an inspiring figure as Jessica Dal Pos, who told her story of how she went from Auskick with her brother a few short years ago, to an all-Australia berth in her first year in the big league.
And she’s no towering, super woman.
The 23 year old, 1.6 metre former Darebin Falcons’ dynamo, with a family holiday house at Cape Paterson, is the ideal role model for other young women starting out in the game.
“When I was thinking about which sport to play, my sister had already started dancing and my brother was going to Auskick, but they had a sausage sizzle after Auskick so I thought it was a no-brainer to go to Auskick with my brother. And I loved it straight away.”
It was sometime later, after being made ineligible for junior footy and trying out netball, soccer and a bevy of other sports that rocked up to a Darebin match and, at the urging of her father, asked if she could have a game.
She became a permanent fixture in the Darebin Falcons run of four premierships and won an initial contract with GWS, emerging as their best and fairest player this year.
Earlier in the night, leading lights in the club, Tess and Ella Angarane welcomed, players sponsors and supporters to the night saying that it was a sport they always loved and wanted to play, and while they were coming to it later in life, they hoped girls coming through the system now would get the benefit of a local pathway into the big time.
“Once you got to 18 you weren’t able to play locally anymore so we’ve now got 18-30 year olds involved, and some of us over 30 taking up footy for the first time,” said Tess.
“We’ve got five sets of sisters in our team and we come from all over which is why we really are a Bass Coast regional team.
“We’re lucky that Dalyston auspiced us but we’re taking it all over. We’ve been to Inverloch, Wonthaggi and Dalyston and plan to get to Bass and the Island. And we’ve got the youth girls involved to so that they can see that pathway.”
The highly successful night concluded with a jumper presentation ceremony involving the sponsors and the Mayor Cr Rothfield.