Port Lincoln Football League clubs forming women's sides

Port Lincoln's football clubs are taking the next step in the progression of women's footy on Eyre Peninsula by putting together teams for the local competition which is set to return early next year.

The Port Lincoln Football League has run the Lower Eyre Peninsula Women's Competition before the start of the regular season since 2018 with about four sides made up of players from across the peninsula.

Following interest from the local clubs, the next competition will look different with the six Port Lincoln based clubs aiming to field open age and under 15 sides.

League football operations manager Quinn Dutschke said this was an exciting milestone for EP football and an important step towards continuing to build women's football in the region.

"It's exciting to see how the clubs have shown strong interest in this and will put some effort into building this," he said.

A number of clubs have already seen a lot of interest from girls and women from across Port Lincoln and even from across Eyre Peninsula.

This includes Boston Football Club, with its first team coming at a historically significant time as it celebrates its 50th year next year.

Boston coach Michael Paech said he had been involved in coaching women's football since the start of the year in the hopes of eventually working towards a female club side being formed.

He said there had been enough interest to fill the two required sides and the club had opened its doors to women from across EP.

"I've been pretty passionate about women's footy over the past year, coaching the SAPSASA team and seeing the potential there is on Eyre Peninsula," he said.

"We're paying homage to the girls in our side who have been working towards this for the past six to eight years with no luck and to have it progress as quickly as it has has been pretty cool."

Another club who has been pushing for a women's club within its ranks has been Wayback with the club forming its teams for the new look competition.

Tracy Baldwin, who made history herself as the club's first ever female president said this was another significant moment in Wayback's history, which would only develop further.

"I think it's history making and it's great we've got so many girls keen to be included and it's only something that's going to to develop in the future," she said.

"I'm proud Waybacks are a part of the Port Lincoln Football League in creating this opportunity for women's football on Eyre Peninsula."

Lincoln South, fresh off of its 75th anniversary, has pushed ahead with its own teams with about 20-25 women expressing interest although is inviting more juniors to sign up.

Club secretary/treasurer Krystal Hebberman said the club already had supported juniors who played in the male ranks and this was the next step in that development.

"We're pretty proud we've got this up and running from a club perspective," she said.

"We support the girls through their junior football so to have our own league to play in is great."

Mallee Park is no stranger to making history themselves and have seen a good number of junior and senior players at their first two training sessions, ready to create their own history.

Captain Shenae Miller said many of the 'Peckerettes' had grown up around football with their families and getting the chance to play for Mallee Park was an amazing opportunity.

"It's pretty special, we're a family history club so it's good to be able to play for the club we love," she said.

"Most of us have played or been around football since we were little so to get to play it is really special."

From here the league is hoping more women can take advantage of pathways being offered through Norwood Football Club to play SANFL football, with the peninsula already seeing some success stories.

One of the most recent has been Port Lincoln's Sachi Syme, who was named Norwood's Rising Star for 2021.

Mr Dutschke said the door was open for more women to take that next step and play on a grander stage.

The league is looking at an early February start for the competition and is asking anyone interested in signing up to play for their local club to visit the league website to find out more.

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