Gascoyne football association to hold first women’s matches ahead of full competition next year

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Taneesha Finch last year, aged 15, shown in a file image ready to play for South Fremantle.
Camera IconTaneesha Finch last year, aged 15, shown in a file image ready to play for South Fremantle. Credit: Stephen Michael Foundation/Supplied, Stephen Michael Foundation

After the success of metropolitan and regional competitions such as the Great Northern Football League women’s division, the Gascoyne is now taking a big leap forward, with the local footy association set to play its first-ever women’s matches this week.

The hope is to have a full women’s competition next season. Tessa Daly, of the Gascoyne Football Association, said it was an exciting time for the region.

“This weekend is a very exciting weekend for football in the Gascoyne as the inaugural intra-region women’s matches are commencing,” she said.

“Carnarvon and Exmouth will both have a women’s side for a few games this year before hopefully a full competition in line with the senior competition will begin next year.”

Women’s football has been coming along in the region in leaps and bounds. Renee Forth — from Buller River, between Geraldton and Chapman Valley — was Fremantle captain in the first women’s Western Derby, and won a premiership with Adelaide.

The Dockers have also picked up Dongara woman Roxy Roux and former Chapman Valley, player Hayley Corlett is now playing in the WAFL, with more women from the region set to follow.

The Gascoyne has also produced its first female footballer from a development program to make her league debut in Perth, with Gascoyne Bulldogs Development Squad player Taneesha Finch last year training with South Fremantle’s Rogers Cup side, aged 15.

She was then selected for a first-round cup debut as Souths beat East Fremantle, 8.4. (52) to 6.3 (39).

Stephen Michael Foundation program manager Liam Anthony said the trip was a landmark. “Her (Taneesha’s) hard work and passion for the game has led her to achieving her goal of playing in Perth this year,” he said.

“For many regional girls, it has been the dream to play AFL, and now the dream is becoming a reality.

“Not only is the program developing a passion for women’s football in these areas, there is some serious talent.

“The foundation are excited to see what Taneesha will achieve.”

Gascoyne local Lilly Watts also made her South Fremantle debut last year at age 16, kicking the first goal of the game, while Lucy Rimmer, from Exmouth, is also expected to make a mark.

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