The Northern Knights girls’ team was labelled as “outstanding” as it headed into the finals of the NAB League Girls’ competition.
Coach Leigh Clarke said the team performance has been “exactly what you ask of anyone” from any sport.
“They’ve improved every week,” Clarke said.
“They’ve shown that our program is one for the girls to understand what their superpowers are.
“The strength of the girls group is their relationships to each other.
“That’s a key area we’re trying to keep up, and also share with the boys as well.”
Clarke coaches the girls and boys sides for the Knights, and said the experience is great.
“They’ve taught me more about football than I’ve taught them, and about growth,” Clarke said.
“The girls… you get instant and direct feedback.”
Clarke said while “we love them all”, there are some standout players from the girls side.
“Maeve Chaplin continues to play above the standard,” he said.
“We’ve had great consistency and output from [her].
“There’s hopefully VFL opportunities in the future there… we certainly want to keep her at the front of the window.”
Other players to watch heading into finals according to Clarke are Teleah Smart, Tarrah Delgado, Rylie Wilcox, Ava Jordan, Brooke Plummer and Lulu Beatty.
Clarke said the 2020 season not going ahead due to the pandemic did not stop the girls from returning to the game strong.
“It’s a true credit to the players and their families, and their ability to adapt and evolve,” Clarke said.
“They’ve never been fitter than when they presented back at the club [after lockdown].
“They’re clearly improving… and were really effective in how they used their time.”
Clarke said the boys had a unique problem.
“We had the opposite problem with the boys,” he said.
“We had to slow them down initially.
“They were ready to get out the frustration of six months of build up immediately.”
Clarke said the boys are in round three of the season, and in a “pretty comfortable place”.
The girls season ended on Saturday, losing to the Eastern Ranges.