Women lead way on footy field

By Fraser Walker-Pearce

THE Echuca Women’s Football Club has named its fantastic five to lead the Murray Bombers into battle this season.

While coach Mick McInnes is yet to name a club captain, he is satisfied that Amber Sullivan, Bri Gaylor, Kym Mundie, Jodie Lake and Bec Wyper make the combination of leadership he is after.

The club hit the ground running in pre-season, making the grand final of an interleague carnival in Kerang on the weekend.

Mick McInnes’ side was one of just six competing in the pre-season carnival, but the Murray Bombers progressed to the grand final nonetheless.

The carnival was split into two groups of three, meaning Echuca played two round robin matches before contesting a straight final against the top-ranked side in the other group, the Shepparton Bears.

Echuca’s arch rival, the Bears had bulked up during the off season and ran away with the game on a hot and tiring day for all involved.

Echuca coach McInnes said he was impressed with his charges nonetheless and looked forward to the Northern Country Women’s League beginning on April 7.

‘‘It wasn’t too bad in the grand scheme of things,’’ McInnes said.

‘‘We ended up playing three games, the end result was disappointing but they got knackered near the end.

‘‘It was Tatura the new side, Shepparton and us from our local competition (NCWL), then Strathfieldsaye and North Bendigo from the other.

‘‘Our first two we won pretty easily and then Shepp beat us pretty easily, so we know what we have to work on.’’

The fast-paced nature of the games, split into two 15-minute halves, along with Sunday’s searing hot conditions in Kerang, meant all teams were tired come the final match.

Fortunately for Echuca, 24 players made the trip which allowed for quick rotations off the bench.

‘‘We seemed to run out of legs a bit quicker than Shepp, playing on the big ground,’’ McInnes said.

‘‘Shepp played their two matches on a smaller ground and we looked a bit tired out there. There is a bit of time to work on that stuff before the season begins.

‘‘It was hard to pick out any stand outs, the new and old players really combined well together.

‘‘We had most of the players there with a few unavailable for whatever reason. We tried not to risk anyone and not play the ones who were hurting in the last game.’’

The side is expected to name its captain in the coming week after its interclub match on Sunday.

The Murray Bombers begin their season at home against Kerang on April 7.