Photo credit: Rowville Football Club Facebook page
By: Tash Gunawardana
In their inaugural season, the Rowville Hawks are currently first on the Deakin University Eastern Region Women’s South Division ladder with a 9-2 record.
“We’re really happy to be sitting at the top of the ladder given it’s our first ever year and we didn’t know at the start of the season how it would all go and even filling a full side could be a challenge to get 21 or even 18 players each week,” Rowville Hawks senior women’s coach Sean Alston said.
“To do that was a great achievement in itself to get the team up and running off the ground.
“To be nine and two, I mean I was really optimistic at the start of the season and hopeful of course throughout pre-season, as we had some talented players but we didn’t know what the quality of the opposition was going to be like.
“We were keeping a really open mind to it all.
“I have been so impressed with their resilience, their willingness to learn and they are embracing everything that has come their way this year and they have improved so much in the last probably six months, which has been great.”
With the Hawks’ two defeats coming to the second-placed South Belgrave-Lysterfield Wolves, the coaching group have analysed a couple of improvement areas to try and bridge that gap.
“We have put a few things in place and the benefit now of us being nine and two, we basically know we are going to finish top-two and most likely play South Belgrave in that first final,” Alston said.
“We have started training and implemented certain structures and even a couple of slight positional tweaks for players tailored to South Belgrave and prepare for that first final to get the match-ups right for that.
“We are actually very excited about coming up against them in that first final.”
For the remainder of the season the team will continue to focus on their dynamic running and distance running.
“It’s not the most popular thing that I have implemented, but we started about three or four weeks ago – we started a training block of running,” he said.
“We will keep doing that every Wednesday at training and outside of that it’s really staying on top of the tactical side now that we have a bit of an idea of basic positional stuff.
“We are stepping it up with some tactical things and structures and taking it to the next level now that they are able to comprehend that and we are working specifically on that sort of stuff every week at training.”
The environment at the club has been positive according to co-captain Danielle Brotto.
“The vibe is bloody amazing, it’s such a supportive environment to be around like everyone on and off the field is super supportive,” she said.
“I think the club culture as well – the ‘never-give-up’ attitude, we’ve followed that through game one.”
It means the world to Brotto to co-captain alongside Kate Cross.
“It’s good because we can kind of share the responsibility of the team as well as our strong leadership team,” Brotto said.
“We all work together, it feels good to help and like lead and work with my teammates.
“My teammates mean the world to me and I’m sure my co-captain will vouch for this we run as one big team.
“We don’t see each other as above anyone or beyond anyone.
“We’re one massive team (and) that helps each other.”
Rachael Seedsman (vice-captain), Tegan Kite and Brianna Donnelly round out the leadership group with Brotto and Cross.
Brotto loves being able to play footy a sport she has immense passion for with a great bunch of teammates.
“You can’t beat them, they’re so supportive, the coaches are incredibly encouraging and they are always pushing us to be better players,” she said.
“The environment of the club is what makes the club.”
Rowville will play Blackburn away at Eley Park on July 28 after a bye this week.