Mernda senior women’s player Teneisha Fiore has praised the support that’s been given towards the club’s women’s program, as her side look to go one better in 2023 following last year’s Division 3 women’s grand final defeat.
The Demons produced their best campaign in 2022, losing just one match in the home and away season post-grading before making the grand final for the first time since joining the NFNL women’s competition in 2018.
Although they ultimately went down by 15 points to Hurstbridge in the decider, Fiore explained the reflection her and her side had on last year’s breakthrough season, adding that just falling short in the grand final has proven to be the biggest motivation for Mernda to go one step better in 2023.
“We definitely knew the grand final last year wasn’t going to be easy against Hurstbridge, because we always had such close games against them,” she said.
“We did reflect on it, we spoke about it, and the whole experience did open our eyes because I don’t think any of us had played in a grand final before.
“It was a bit nerve racking as a whole, but it’s definitely made us hungrier to be better this season.”
The Demons will have a new mentor leading the women’s side this year after the club confirmed last October that 2022 assistant coach Garth Duncan would take over the reins from Chris Hoysted.
Duncan has already made a positive impact on the squad according to Fiore, which has complimented the strong pre-season her side have had in the lead up to this year’s campaign.
“He [Duncan] has been unreal, the support he’s given us and the dedication and time he’s given us already has been amazing,” she said.
“He has already taught us so much and he’s brought a lot more footy knowledge to us already this year.
“The vibes and the energy throughout the team has been really good as a result, it’s like we haven’t stopped training since last year with the way our intensity and skills have been so far.”
Mernda have taken some massive strides in their women’s football program since joining the competition in 2018.
In a five-year span, the Demons have produced two league best and fairest winners (Gulia Ceravolo in 2022 and Natalie Todaro in 2021), two league MVP’s (Awek Dut in 2022 and Natalie Todaro in 2021) and 14 players represented in Team’s of the Year.
Fiore has been a part of the senior women’s program at Mernda since its inception and says her side’s recent on-field success can be attributed to the constant time and support given towards the women’s arm of the club.
“Especially because we have a lot of young girls in our team, we get a lot of support and guidance from the committee, the coaches as well as all the supporters,” she said.
“Even during training, everyone’s always giving us so much support, you never feel alone at the club which is a great feeling to have.
“I’ve been there since the beginning of the Mernda women’s program, and it’s been good to see so much change and to see everyone involve in the women’s side of things at the club.”