Bounce-down for new girls’ program

Headshot of Carly Laden
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Inaugural Kimberley Spirit Female program coach Mandy McSherry.
Camera IconInaugural Kimberley Spirit Female program coach Mandy McSherry. Credit: Carly Laden

As women’s football continues to grow and pique interest, local community organisation Garnduwa has developed a new program for young girls.

Garnduwa, known for its Kimberley Spirit youth program, has announced this year will include the inaugural Kimberley Spirit female program, spearheaded by KAMS WKFL women’s premiership coach Mandy McSherry.

McSherry, known as “Macca”, takes on the role after previous stints with the Cable Beach Football Club women’s team and Swan Districts in the WAWFL.

She said the new coaching role immediately caught her eye, especially with the growth of women’s football and new talent emerging in the Kimberley. “It’s quite exciting to see women’s footy grow and grow, and to be involved with the younger girls excited me,” she said.

“It will be a bit of a challenge for me since I’m used to working with women in an open-age category rather than just youth, but it will be great to watch them grow and maybe even get them on an AFLW list.”

The Kimberley Spirit female program training began on Monday and will run for 10 weeks, training the girls in football skills, nutrition and leadership.

“At the end of the 10 weeks, we’ll send them away for an individual development program so that during the football season they can go and work on what they need,” McSherry said.

“After the football season, we’ll all come back together and do a bit of a camp, then we’ll be looking at going down to the Pilbara for the Nic Naitanui Academy.”

Despite watching young players as a coach for Cable Beach last year, McSherry said she was excited about the opportunity to work with some of the young stars in other teams. “Last year, I noticed a couple of stand-out players in each side, so it would be really good to work with them and come together as a collective,” she said.

“There was some great talent at Cable Beach but I could see a few from Looma, Bidyadanga, the Bombers. To potentially have them all combined in one side is very exciting, especially now the WKFL women’s league has grown to seven teams.”

Garnduwa’s Kimberley Spirit program co-ordinator Shaun Norman said there was a need for a women’s Kimberley Spirit program given the growing interest in AFLW.

“We looked at our Kimberley Spirit program and thought we should give young girls the same opportunities that young boys in the program already get,” he said.

“Seeing how quickly women’s football has grown over the past couple of years, hopefully we can help establish some pathways for the girls later on down the track.”

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