The VU Western Spurs are continuing to grow and make a positive impact on the women’s football landscape.
The Spurs are this year fielding a league-record three teams in the ANZ NFNL Women’s competition, with a side competing in each of the league’s senior women’s divisions.
Joining the board in late 2017, Head of Football Operations, Lisa McKay, believes the key reason for the growth of the club has been the positive culture and atmosphere of the club.
“We look at ourselves as being a really strong club in terms of women’s football and being a leader in that space and that encompasses performances on the field and coming up with new ways of doing things,” McKay told NFNL.org.au.
“There’s a real connection right across the club in terms of culture and engaging with the girls.
“We’ve put in structures to really support the girls, from the board right down to the volunteers.
“The good reputation we have and the word of mouth gets out and that’s made a difference in terms of growing the numbers for this season.”
With a relocation from St Albans to Footscray in late 2015, major links with the Maribyrnong City Council and Victoria University, as well as a strong partnership with the Western Bulldogs Football Club, McKay is ecstatic with the direction the club is heading in.
“The move from St Albans has allowed the club to focus on senior women’s football,” she said.
“The partnership that we have with the Western Bulldogs has allowed us to be really focused on what we want to achieve.
“Ultimately we want our girls to use the club as a pathway to develop their footy careers and the strengthening of our partnership with the Bulldogs is allowing us to do that.”
The 2018 season began in fine fashion for the Spurs, with all three teams notching wins at home ground Henry Turner Reserve in Round 1 of the ANZ NFNL Women’s season.
Spearheaded by 11 goals to Mary Sandral, the Division 1 team scored a massive win over Whitehorse.
The Division 2 side claimed a five-point thriller over La Trobe University to kick-start its premiership defence with a win, while the Division 3 side was far too good for La Trobe.
McKay said the club has plenty to be excited about for the 2018 season.
“We have girls who have never played women’s football in our Division 3 team and even some girls who haven’t played any sport since they were 12,” she said.
“To see them run out in Round 1 and play so cohesively and work so well together was an absolute joy.
“Everyone wants to win a flag but putting that aside, we are looking for the little things that will set us up for success across all three teams.”
Having all three sides play home matches together throughout the season will create a fantastic atmosphere around the club, according to McKay.
“The league has worked really well with us to help ensure we have a fixture where all three teams are at home every second week.
“It allows us to have almost like a carnival feel every home round.
“We even have one round this year where we’re going to have the VFL team playing at home as well so that’ll be really exciting.”