Having gone through the 2021 Division 1 Women’s season undefeated, Diamond Creek Women’s coach Colin Wallington wants his side to again aim high in 2022.
Wallington has been re-appointed coach of the Creekers’ first team for a fourth season after this year guiding them to the minor premiership.
Preparations for the 2022 season are already in full swing, with the Creekers bolstering their list with the addition of 2021 Vic Metro under-19s representative Makaylah Appleby, Victoria Iles and Haylee Cramp.
All three have previously played with the club, with Wallington stating a key focus this off-season was to retain the club’s junior talent.
“We’re bringing up our own, which is what we’re really about, being able to really focus on our juniors coming up through to the seniors,” Wallington told NFNL.org.au.
Should the easing of Covid restrictions permit, the club hopes to begin its pre-season training campaign on November 9.
Following consecutive Covid interrupted seasons, Wallington said the playing group was eager to return to the training track and believed the early start would ensure everyone hit the ground running in 2022.
“We’re showing them that we’re not just sitting around and that we’re actually being proactive and putting things together to give them something to look forward to,” Wallington said.
Diamond Creek Women’s set the benchmark throughout the 2021 Division 1 Women’s campaign, registering a 10-0 record with an average winning margin of nine goals.
The club also dominated the league’s individual awards, with star midfielder Shae Audley claiming both the Division 1 Women’s best and fairest and Coaches MVP awards, while Linda Thorp was the competition’s leading goal kicker.
Wallington was also recognised for his efforts, being selected coach of the Division 1 Women’s Team of the Year.
While honoured with the recognition, he said the accolade was a team effort.
“You can’t really do it without some good help around you,” he said.
“Right through our whole playing group, there’s 50 odd girls and our coaching staff. I put the thanks back on them because it’s all a big team effort.”
Wallington believes the disappointment of not being able to complete the 2021 season will serve as a motivating factor for his side next year.
“It’s something that we can put in our back pocket for a bit more motivation for 2022,” he said.
“Fingers crossed we can make it to the pointy end of the season and hopefully bring a flag home.”
Wallington believes the continued growth of the women’s competition was exciting for everyone involved.
“It’s good to see that local women’s football is really thriving and developing very quickly. You can see all the mainstream men’s clubs focusing and advertising women’s football. It’s been fantastic,” he said.
“It’s going to go from strength to strength and hopefully next year we can get a few more teams involved and the NFNL gets even stronger.”
Diamond Creek Women’s has finalised its senior coaching panel for 2022, with Peter Jurgens and Paul Bullard also reappointed as Wallington’s assistants.
David Craig will continue coaching the Creeker’s second team, while Jarrod Hart will serve as skills and senior forward coach and Adrian Patti as strength and conditioning coach.
Diamond Creek Women’s is also looking to provide opportunities for female coaches to serve within the 2022 senior coaching panel. Any coaches or players looking to transition into coaching are encouraged to apply by calling Col Wallington on 0424 590 286