Murray ready for more of the same with Panthers

Published on Friday, January 27, 2023

Eltham senior women’s star Alannah Murray says the tight-knit group that led the club to its maiden premiership in the women’s competition last year, can achieve greater heights in 2023.

The Panthers claimed their first premiership in the NFNL women’s competition in 2022, when they defeated St Mary’s by 18 points in the SG Print & Paper Division 2 grand final.

A catalyst for the club’s triumph was the groundwork laid in the previous pre-season according to Murray, adding that there are a lot of similarities between this pre-season and last.

“Mostly coming through last pre-season, we had huge numbers and what we really wanted to work on most was our fitness which I think we did really well,” she said.

“We’ve had quite a few pre-season training sessions already and it’s been great being able to like catch up and pretty much just roll from 2022 into 2023 with the same girls and that same energy that we had at the start of last year.”

As well as a flag, Murray enjoyed a terrific 2022 campaign on a personal level, winning the Panthers’ best and fairest and earning a spot in last year’s Division 2 Team of the Year. She also finished second in the league’s best and fairest count and the league MVP Award.

Murray is excited to continue to progress her game with recently re-appointed co-coaches Craig Ashby and Darren Cardamone who she says, played key roles in developing not only her skills but the skills of the entire side.

“It’s mainly about the way that they can explain things that helps the most, we have a lot of girls who haven’t played football yet and to be able to explain to them and me, what they want during a game and during training makes it so much simpler,” she said.

“They just know what we need, when we need it and that we can get the job done for them.”

Murray also expressed how the strong morale built by the playing group, has had a positive influence on her experience at Eltham Central Park.

“The girls are really supportive, we have some great training sessions before games, everyone’s just really appreciative of each other and they’re easy to play with,” she said.

Following their inaugural premiership triumph last year, the Panthers will potentially return to Division 1 football this season. Their last appearance in the competition was in 2021 where they finished with a 6-5 record in the shortened campaign.

Murray says the whole side is embracing a possible return to the top flight in 2023.

“I think Eltham is definitely ready for Division 1 football, we’re really excited about that chance and hopefully we’ll be able to smash out this season as well as we did last year but this time in Division 1,” she said.

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