William Buck Premier women’s preview

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Women's News

By Lucy Lechich

2018 is shaping up to be a ground-breaking, second season of the William Buck Premier competition. Women’s football is booming, the standard is improving drastically and the number of girls making the transition from previous sports to our nation’s great game is enormous. This year will be bigger and better than ever, with an exciting array of new talent set to be showcased across all eight teams.

New addition, Kew Bears, are expected to raise the already remarkable standard of the competition to new and sensational heights. The Bears claimed the VWFL Division 1 flag in 2016 and furthermore, their reserves recently defeated the Scotch Stars in a two-goal Lightning Premiership victory at Keysborough Playing Fields. Now coming under the same umbrella as the Kew men’s teams in the VAFA, the collective outfit of women representing this proud club will be hungry to succeed in the competition they now call home. Expect Roisin “Rosh” Lambert, a home-grown Bear and 50-game milestone player since the club’s inauguration 2014, to unleash herself as a force to be reckoned with.

Seven of the eight teams will return to William Buck Premier for season 2018: Marcellin, SKOB Saints, Caulfield Grammarians, Old Trinity, Old Xaverians, Melbourne University and Fitzroy-ACU.

After claiming just three wins in 2017, Melbourne University will enter a much stronger line-up this year and are set to reverse their fortunes into premiership contention. With their number one side competing in the VFLW, the Mugar’s second team, which last year played in the Northern Football Netball League, will now be plying their trade in William Buck Premier. They have a rich history in football on the back of their high standards and incredible playing numbers, so expect the Mugars to go deep in 2018.

Marcellin, coming off the back of a scintillating premiership victory against SKOB Saints in 2017, is set to improve again with a substantial influx of new players. Inaugural Anytime Fitness Rising Star nominee and gun goalkicker, Chiara Moretta, says the girls are hungry to go back-to-back and with new talent set to shine, the Sheagles are predicted to be difficult to beat again this year. Keep your eyes peeled for rising star nominee and Big V Squad member from 2017, Nat MacDonald.

SKOB Saints will look to rebound after narrowly missing out on premiership success when they went down to Marcellin by seven points in the decider. SKOB were the powerhouse of the home and away fixture, losing just one game en route to the minor premiership. Boasting the competition’s two top goal kickers, Sarah Cameron and Georgie Lupson, expect the Saints to enter 2018 at the top of their game as they seek redemption.

Caulfield Grammarians look to rebuild this season after the loss of some big names to the VFLW, including Grace Buchan (Best & Fairest), Irena Malliaras (Big V BOG), Alice Edmonds and Millie Klingbeil. After finishing fifth in their inaugural season and narrowly missing a finals berth, captain Amy Dumas has strong belief in the group, with many new faces set to be unveiled.  Young gun Georgia Cooper, 17, is already showing incredible signs of football maturity and smarts and is one to be watched.

Old Trinity were outstanding last year and finished fourth on the back of nine wins from their 14 games. Despite the loss of Big V skipper, Claire Messent, recruit and former Australian professional tennis player, Sally Peers, is an exciting addition for the club given her sporting prowess and ready-made elite football skills showcased in a practice match against Caulfield. Having trained together collectively as an outfit since October, expect Old Trinity to be fit and firing, with solid cohesion and ball movement set to be on display come Round 1.

Old Xaverians are coming off a seventh-place finish and will have their sights set on significant improvement this season. Maddie Sorrenti, the first-ever to register as an Old Xav women’s player and a rising star nominee, has an optimistic outlook for the year ahead with the girls having had an intense pre-season training regime. With Rohenna Young still at the helm, expect an improved performance from the claret & stout women in 2018.

Fitzroy-ACU were formidable last season, attaining an impeccable second-place finish on the ladder after losing only two games in the home and away fixture. After a disappointing straight sets exit in last year’s finals series, they will look to go one better this season. The departure of star ruck and reigning women’s best & fairest winner, Tash Ross-Harris, will be a major blow to their side’s set-up; however, a rigorous pre-season program and the leadership of Gemma Minuz will hold the Roy Girls in good stead moving forward.

The 2018 William Buck Premier women’s competition will produce a crop of new talent, stars of the future will be uncovered, and the premiership is anyone’s guess. An electrifying season awaits.

PREDICTIONS

Lucy Lechich (Women’s Football Reporter) predictions:

Premier: Melbourne University WFC

Top 4: Melbourne University, Marcellin, SKOB Saints, Kew

Best & Fairest: Nat MacDonald (Marcellin)

Leading Goal Kicker: Sarah Cameron (SKOB Saints)

Nick Armistead (Head of Media) predictions:

Premier: SKOB Saints

Top 4: SKOB Saints, Fitzroy-ACU, Kew, Marcellin

Best & Fairest: Eliza Straford (SKOB Saints)

Leading Goal Kicker: Alexandra Monacella (Fitzroy-ACU)

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