New Youth girls team in limbo

DECISIONS: Ararat Storm captain Ayesha Nicholson may not be involved in the new Western District youth girls competition. Picture: Peter Pickering

DECISIONS: Ararat Storm captain Ayesha Nicholson may not be involved in the new Western District youth girls competition. Picture: Peter Pickering

ARARAT’S women footballers could miss the chance to join a new Western Districts junior league in May.

No club from the city has signed on to form a team in the new competition.

The Ararat Storm already play in the Ballarat Youth Girls League on Sundays and draws on a wide area to form its playing list, including Ararat, Hamilton and Horsham.

Storm plays would have to play twice each weekend if the club was to join the competition.

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Football manager David Nicholson said it would put more pressure on players with the additional travel involved for more games.

“They could be playing in Portland on a Friday night before playing again in Ballarat on a Sunday,” he said.

“Some of the girls would like to play that extra game but they do get knocked about a lot during the game and so it would not take much for them to pick up an injury.

“We are in favour of the concept but we just think it is poor timing.”

The Ararat Rats were also considered by AFL Victoria for a women’s team in the new league.

Rats president David Jennings said a boost to women’s footy would be great, but the club did not have enough time to put a team together ahead of an opening round in May.

“We have not got much notice to try and get the team together, organise jumpers as well as find the support staff to assist the team,” he said.

“We think it is a positive but I am just not sure if we can make it work right now.”

AFL Victoria will meet with clubs involved in March to discuss any concerns about the new seven-week league.

The new competition will involve teams from Hamilton, Warrnambool, Horsham, Portland and Stawell and will start on May 7, with the grand final scheduled for June 25.

The Storm is coming off its first premiership win in the Ballarat league after four years of involvement.

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