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15 September 2021
The entire September 15, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
Horsham Demons’ under-18 girls footballers will resume training tonight while crossing their fingers they will be allowed to play one last game for the year.
The Demons were scheduled to contest the Western Victoria Female Football League under-18 grand final
against undefeated South Warrnambool last month, before the latest COVID-19 lockdown halted proceedings.
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League officials have announced intentions to host under-18 and senior grand finals on October 3, with a venue to be determined.
They said if insufficient direction was available to schedule the matches by September 29, the grand finals would be cancelled and the teams that finished atop the ladders would be awarded ‘minor premiership’ status for 2021.
The Demons won nine of 12 matches this season to finish in second spot.
Coach Terry Arnel said he and his charges were looking forward to a shot at the premiership, ‘if we can make it all happen’.
“It seems like a long time ago now, but the girls earned their spot in the grand final,” he said.
“We’re still geared up but we’re not as well prepared as we were back then.
“We’ll get back into training, if for nothing more than a bit of preparedness for a grand final if it happens, and nothing less than a bit of physical activity and exercise for the girls anyway.”
Arnel said there was plenty of interest in girls football this season.
“We’ve had really good numbers, which have increased as the year’s gone on – we’ve ended up with 27 or 28 in our group,” he said.
“We have a lot of new players and we really hope their first-year experience into footy has been enjoyable.
“It’s really been a good group, a good demographic of first-year players and ones who are into their second or third year.
“It’s an enjoyable group to coach.”
Arnel said while there was significant interest in the sport, inconsistency in competition caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had affected numbers.
“The interest is definitely still there though,” he said.
“There’s an idea to have an under-14 comp, which lessens that gap for the under-18s. While the interest level is still there and the pathways are becoming more obvious, we just need more consistency – we’re competing for the same people across the same sports.”
– Sarah Matthews