The 2022 William Buck Premier Women’s season is finally here and as we head into the opening round, let’s look at a preview for each of the nine teams.
It’s clear what could have been for Marcellin in season 2021, a 10-0 home and away record and a victory in the first week of finals is nothing short of extraordinary.
They have an extra week to get themselves primed for another tilt at this year’s campaign and will be eager to fire when they step out in Round 2 vs. St Kevins.
Coach Luke Boyd had plenty of firepower at his disposal in 2021, highlighted by competition leading goal kicker Cecilia Balsassarre (23 goals) and Shaylee Taylor (10 goals). While the second best defensive unit in the competition were near impenetrable.
The main group at Marcellin have remained and it’s hard to see their winning ways coming to an end anytime soon.
St Kevin’s were basically on a par with Marcellin in 2021, they were the only hurdle they couldn’t leap over through last season.
Can they go one step further this year after a 9-1 record in 2021? We’re expecting more of the same from the #1 ranked defensive side.
They’ve had the off-season to lick their wounds after the finals loss to Marcellin and will be sweating on every loose ball against West Brunswick this Saturday to kick off their campaign on the best possible foot.
Irena Malliaras was the #1 player in the William Buck Premier competition in 2021, comfortably taking out the competition’s best and fairest after an outstanding season. Clubs will have to be at their very best to stop her tenacity at the football.
The Fields found themselves (like the men’s side) right at home in the Premier grade finishing the season at 7-3 after spending 2019 in Premier B. Reaching the Preliminary Final weekend before the season was abandoned.
It’s all before them this weekend when they face St Mary’s, a side they managed to keep scoreless when they met last season.
West Brunswick fought hard to make it to the finals last year, finishing the season with 5 wins and 5 losses. They sat in a position where they were able to beat the teams on the lower end of the ladder but struggled against those above them.
This season will be all about developing that momentum further and looking to get some wins against the stronger teams in the competition.
The season opener for West Brunswick will be against last years second place St Kevin’s, a win this weekend would be a huge momentum boost for the team.
St Mary’s Salesian
St Mary’s Salesian who underwent a rebuild over the last season, and as a result ended with just one win for the year.
Mitch Duplajnin will be the senior coach for season 2022 and brings with him a wealth of experience and success to the club. Duplajnin has won a premiership in 2019 when coaching Caulfield Grammarians and also took out coach of the year in the same season.
The playing group now having a year to develop together will have a new coach to bring a new playstyle, which should help see them rise up the ladder once again in season 2022.
Melbourne University Women’s
On-field success follows the Mugars wherever they go and have been one of the dominant women’s sides in the VAFA since the inception of the competition. Last season in Premier B they were well on their way to another Premiership after advancing to the Grand Final before the season was abandoned.
Eve Sheehan put her name in lights as the 2021 Anytime Fitness Rising Star while Asha Price was the sharpshooter up forward.
The team is stacked with winners on every line and they’re led boldly by 2 of the best coaches in the league Erini Gianakopoulos and Martha Cantwell
Coming off a mixed season last year, Old Xavierians missed out on finals in 2021 but had very strong seasons from players Sarah Anderson and Gabby Henderson that saw them both named in the Premier team of the year.
They’ve been forced to find themselves a new coach after Scott Gowans was successful in obtaining the role with the Sydney Swans AFLW coach for the next season later this season, and from us all at the VAFA we wish Scott all the best in his endeavours.
One thing we know about Old Xaverians, no matter whether it’s senior men’s, reserves, thirds, under 19’s or women’s. You can’t keep them down for too long, there’s an aura around the red and black, so expect more of the same from the senior women’s team in 2022.
It was a rather forgettable season for Old Trinity in 2021, finishing with just 2 wins and landing in second last spot on the ladder.
With the club itself going through many changes in the off season, the securing of new head coach Luke Lobello only came last week. This means the club has undergone their pre season with the absence of a head coach
Trinity will kick off the season against Kew this Saturday and will be looking to their big names to help them get a win to start the year.
Kew started last season with a bang but struggled for the rest of the year and finished the year in 5th position.
Kew have added former player Jess Burger as their new head coach in the offseason, Burger who has been a part of the club since its inception will be looking to bring her playing experience to the coaching box.
Kew have built on their list from last season and have added some new faces to the team, which has seen them get some wins in practice matches over the Pre season. It looks to be an exciting season added for Kew who will face off against Trinity this Saturday.