Magpies up for the challenge

By
Updated: November 23, 2015
Geelong women's coach Steve Janssen and assistants Shannon Knox and Natasha Daffy. Picture: AL PACKER
Geelong women's coach Steve Janssen and assistants Shannon Knox and Natasha Daffy. Picture: AL PACKER

Geelong women’s coach Steve Janssen and assistants Shannon Knox and Natasha Daffy. Picture: AL PACKER

GEELONG women’s coach Steve Janssen has set the ambitious target of playing finals in the club’s first year in newly-formed Victorian state league.

The Magpies have been promoted from Division 1, along with four other teams, to join the six members of the 2015 premier division in a what will be Victoria’s elite women’s competition.

“Our goal is to finish fourth. We’re not going into this competition to make a number up.

“We are representing Geelong now and we want to put our best foot forward.”

The Magpies inclusion in the new competition has resulted in a flurry of interest from players keen to be part of the new era of women’s football.

Star South Australian Tayla Gordon, who represented Australia at Youth Girls level, is among the additions.

“She’s got on the phone to us and is moving over,” Janssen said.

“She plays the elite footy over there, but they’re telling her for her to be drafted, their standard over there is probably not as high as what out division is going to be over here.

Geelong has so far also attracted players from Ballarat-based Redan as well as Bacchus Marsh.

Despite the jump in numbers, the Magpies is likely to field just the one team.

“At this stage we’ll only be fielding in premier,” Janssen said.

“Financially it will be a strain on this one club to support that (two teams).

“The plan going forward is definitely to get two sides. The last thing we want to do is see girls being lost.

“We’d like to get another side in Division 5 or Division 6.”

With Geelong’s AFL club showing an interest in being part of a nationwide women’s competition in coming years, Janssen is keen to develop an alliance with the Cats.

“You’d love to get that working relationship where they take over that No.1 side and then we’d become the No.2 side and you’d have another third side.

“It’s like anything, we’ve got to do the right thing over the next twenty-four months if Geelong are going to put something before us.

“It’s a big thing for them to take on board.”

Janssen hopes the addition of local media identity, K-ROCK Football commentator Anthony Mithen as senior assistant coach will help in developing that relationship.

Mithen has been a leading light in the development of Youth Girls football in recent years as coach of Newtown & Chilwell.

Daughter Lily has been a key figure in the Eagles’ success, and is set to jump up to senior football on a more regular basis along with the talented DeGroot sisters – Lucy and Cheryl.

Twitter: @tom_king79″

 



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