Nick Armistead – @NickArmistead
The stars are aligning for Old Scotch ahead of their debut VAFA Wilson Women’s match against Old Brighton on Saturday afternoon.
The ‘Stars’, who finished second to Kew (2) in last Saturday’s Lightning Premiership, will enter the season in Premier B (White) and under the guidance of senior coach and MLC football founder, Ryan Duke – a leader who has already crafted his own successful career in women’s football.
Upon developing the football program at MLC, Duke’s teams claimed the GSV premiership every year from 2011-16 and have twice been named Herald Sun Shield State Champions.
One of his prime athletic MLC pupils and Scotch Star, Tilly Rapke, said it was an easy decision to join the Camberwell locals following the announcement of Duke’s signing in November last year.
“Ryan took me for all of my sporting endeavours, including footy, at school so when he came to the pointy decision of whether he wanted to coach I decided to go on with him,” Rapke said.
A junior Melbourne Tigers basketballer, rower & cross country runner, Rapke’s football playing days commenced while attending MLC but her passion for the game developed over a lifetime as a loyal Richmond supporter.
“It’s always been in my blood since I was little to be honest,” she said.
“I grew up as a die-hard Tiger fan with my brother and dad…It was always a thing that was in my lifestyle, in my life. I’d go to games with my Dad when I was little and sit under his coat in the winter, it was always something that was embedded in me I think.”
Outside of Duke’s own teachings of the game, Scotch organised tackling sessions with Melbourne Storm players for the Stars, while the Cardinals have ensured a smooth transition into the 97-year club with a combined Christmas Party and a day out at Flemington for Super Saturday.
“The boys have been fantastic. They’ve been so welcoming,” Rapke said.
“We’ve got a couple of the boys coming in giving us some tips here and there.”
The Stars’ debut against Old Brighton kicks off at 4:45pm on Saturday at Brighton Beach Oval following the Premier B Grand Final re-match between the Cardinals and Tonners.
For more information on Tilly, the Stars and her love for the Tigers, please watch the video above.