Darebin senior coach Elise Casamento believes her side is beginning to hit its straps following an impressive fortnight against flag contenders Montmorency and Diamond Creek Women’s.
After losing to both the Magpies and Creekers by three goals during grading, the Falcons have produced improved performances over the past two weeks in Mirvac Division 1 Women’s – downing the Magpies and running the Creekers to within a point.
Speaking to NFNL.org.au, Casamento said she has been pleased with her side’s form over the past two games against the top two sides on the Mirvac Division 1 Women’s ladder.
“Two top teams, really hard at the footy teams, they’re both well structured. It’s really nice to play good footy against those teams,” Casamento said.
“It reflects on how we’re going.”
Casamento was particularly happy with the performance against undefeated Diamond Creek Women’s, despite the final result not going her side’s way.
“Diamond Creek kicked two early goals and the girls could’ve easily had their heads down,” she said.
“But to be able to reset and kick those two goals to tie it again was probably the most pleasing part of that game.”
The Falcons have been able to bring in players from the club’s VFLW program, with Casamento saying the club has found a balance between both teams.
“The VFL girls come to training Thursday, so everyone’s gotten to know them there and we also trained together during the pre-season,” she said.
“So when they come down and play, no one has never not seen them before.”
Darebin has been well served by reigning Division 1 Coaches MVP winner Tamara Olcorn, Angelique Reibelt and Georgia Wilson across the opening seven matches of the 2021 season.
But Casamento has been equally impressed by the form of both Karly O’Malley and Julia Phung.
“From the back line Karly’s had a really good year,” Casamento said.
“She’s played a few key roles for us on players and shut them down and done that job.
“Julia Phung on the wing has really stepped up. She missed a few years ago with an ACL and she’s come back and has shown clean hands and has been quick.”
In particular, Casamento has been pleased with the balance of youth and experience within the team.
“I think all over the ground we’re pretty lucky that we’ve got a really good spread of experience and newer players, younger players. It’s really exciting,” she said.
However, like many coaches, she was a slightly concerned during the pre-season that the club could struggle with its playing numbers.
Thankfully, it was a concern that has been avoided due to many new players joining the club for the 2021 campaign.
“A lot of people enjoyed the year off and didn’t come back. That was the struggle early on just making sure we had the numbers,” Casamento said.
“Once we had the numbers then we were a lot more comfortable.
“Seeing everyone again was so nice and I think that first game everyone was super nervous but so excited to finally be back playing.”
The Falcons face another great test this week when they host reigning premier VU Western Spurs at A.H. Capp Reserve.