By: Tash Gunawardana
THE BASIN currently sits top on the Deakin University Eastern Region Women’s Division 1 ladder, winning nine in a row since its only defeat to South Croydon in Round 1.
“We’re thrilled where we are currently sitting, it’s been a big turnaround since last season,” The Basin co-captain Julia Baker said.
“We’ve doubled the amount of girls on our list (and) we’ve got two teams, which is awesome.
“We’ve got about 60 girls on our list, which is awesome.
“We started pre-season probably the first week of November last year, so it’s been a long process but slowly starting to pay off, which is great.”
The vibe down at the club has been positive.
“We have really good support from the senior guys (and) from the club itself,” Baker said.
“We have been lucky enough this year, not only we have a senior coach John Hayhurst, but we also have got three assistant coaches (including) Ken Hayhurst (forwards coach), Andrew Battye (midfield coach) and Matt Bailey (backline coach).
“All those guys experience coming in that’s pretty much why we are where we are at the moment.
“It’s a big group of people contributing not just the girls on the field.”
Baker says her job as co-captain is made easier by those around her at every training session and game day.
“It’s great to be able to lead such an inspirational bunch of women that are there for the same reason as I’m there,” she said.
“I’m there because I want to play footy and the fact that I get to play footy and lead the girls out every Saturday is something that is even better.
“I have got the support of the club and the coaching staff.
“The players just respond and seem to take on board and listen.
“It’s really helpful for them and it’s not just about me, it’s helping to develop them as leaders too.”
The co-captains undertake player-driven match-reviews through the team’s Facebook pages and it’s an open forum for the girls to share their views from the match.
“Every sort of second Monday or so whenever we actually have got footage of the game and that’s led by us rather than the coaches,” co-captain Candice Carroll said.
Carroll says her side has continued its momentum gained throughout 2018.
“It’s just a roll in from last season,” she said.
“We have kept working, we had a massive pre-season (and) we didn’t want to lose what we had started last season.
“It’s just, every week we have stepped up.
“Our under-18s girls won the premiership last year and six of them have come into our team, so I think that experience helps as well.”
Fitness is the key focus at Batterham Reserve in the run home to finals.
“A lot of our coaches have said that this is something a lot of other clubs will not be doing right now, but we have been working really hard on our fitness,” Carroll said.
“We think a big part of our game is our fitness, so I think that’s what we are working on.
“Starting from last season, 80 per cent of our players were brand new to football, so again leading on from last season we are just every week continuing on improving our skills and basic stuff going forward.”
“We’re a really good connected team, so going forward (our aim) will be just to see us continue as strong as possible and go hard into the finals,” Carroll said.