DALYSTON dreamer Ella ‘Angry’ Angarane grew up with a footy in her hand and the kick of a champion.
A family with black and white in their blood, both mum Lynda and dad Frank played and then coached netball and football, respectively.
The talented sportswoman went on to play some 200 A Grade netball games, but that just wasn’t her mark.
“The multidimensional realm of football, where anyone can go anywhere, anyone can kick a goal, that’s the beauty,” says Ella, who also founded the Bass Coast Breakers Women’s Football team.
Growing up, Ella would regularly play kick-to-kick with dad, as well as sneaking on to the netball court a few years her junior with mum.
Ella went on to play Alberton representational netball, women’s cricket and A Grade divisional basketball while living in the city.
But everyone close to Ella knew she was destined to play Aussie rules.
Her dad would refer to his young girls as ‘My boys’.
It was a phrase that stuck with the best intentions.
Ella was a frequent participant at fourths, training with her dad while he was coaching and still playing in the senior side.
But it was the ‘90s; times were different and Ella had to bench her football dream.
Classmate Adie Donohue still refers to Ella as, “The best kick at Saint Joe’s (primary school).”
Dad Frank says: “She was as good as half of the side back then, I was happy for her to play.
“But it just wasn’t the thing to do back then for a girl to play footy. It wasn’t kosher,” remembers Frank, who coached the Dalyston fourths through Ella’s pre-teens.
Fast forward 20 years and prior to the explosion of AFLW, Ella’s footy dream was still bubbling away.
In 2015, everything started to fall into place.
She shared her football vision with sister Tess.
Ella’s maternity leave meant time to think about starting a club.
“We started off with the Dalyston Youth Girls. I was coaching and in the same year played a few games at the closest club to home; Seaford,” Ella said.
But coaching’s a demanding role.
“I stopped playing to focus on the girls,” she said.
The Youth Girls would travel as far as Maffra in the Traralgon based competition.
“That year we had a visit from the Yarragon Falcons and though the girls were a long way ahead of us, we could see what we needed to do.
“Their coach Richard Dal Pos was a big mentor for me.
“Throughout that season, he helped me get my head around the coaching side of things.”
In 2016, the Bass Coast Breakers formed under the direction of Ella, with the help of Tess; and they scraped together some graduate Youth Girls and fielded a team.
“It was a bit slow to start off, but as the season went on, we had some exposure – more girls started training and playing,” Ella said.
In 2017, in the South Eastern Women’s Football Development League, the team won every game but lost by a point in the grand final.
Next year was Division Two, where they were took home the trophy.
“We had a strong side last year with a large group.
“With a year’s experience, we were lucky enough to go all the way,” she said.
Entering Division One this year, although the Breakers didn’t win a game, Ella says the team has come a long way and surpassed expectations.
“This year has been a challenge, going up a level and losing a handful of players meant we were struggling at times to field a side,” she says.
“The playing group has taken on the challenge and improved every week.”
The team trains on Wednesday at Dalyston under the direction of some very committed volunteers.
They’re both professional and welcoming as they come.
And with former best and fairest player Taylah Stahl being drafted to Richmond AFLW side this year, and Kelly O’Neill on the march for St Kilda Women’s, the Breakers’ legacy is already building.
Throughout this season, recruitments were taken until the last few weeks.
“Women’s footy isn’t for everyone – but a few weeks ago at Phillip Island, one lady played her first game, with her friends watching for the first time; next week the four of them were at training.”
The club’s aim is to give the game equal exposure, as well as giving women the opportunity to play – and potentially progress into another league.
With 14 games per season. Ella made her way to her first milestone of 50 games last week.
In comparison to her dad’s near 200 senior games, Uncle Fred’s 300 plus and sister Tess’s 300 in A Grade netball, it’s not records that she’s going after but opportunity – equality for all.
Small town dreamer to football star