Gisborne in boots ‘n’ all


Gisborne Secondary College is home to one of Victoria’s best junior girls school football teams, second only to a sports academy school.

The college fielded one of the more than 400 teams to enter School Sports Victoria junior female football competition for years 7-9 students. After winning the Western Metropolitan region section, the girls qualified for the state finals on August 18 and 26.

They easily accounted for Horsham and Wonthaggi secondary colleges in the first two finals, setting up a clash with Rowville Secondary College in the grand final.

One of the coaches, Trent Kennedy, said Gisborne was in the game for the first half before a better Rowville side kicked on, winning 19.6 (120) – 6.3 (39).

In their nine games, the Gisborne girls scored 400 points and only conceded 143, 114 of these in the grand final.

“Gisborne Secondary College could not be more proud of their achievements as it is the furthest an AFL team [boys or girls] has reached from the college,” Kennedy said.

“The team of girls included about six girls who play AFL outside of school.

“The girls trained at school during lunch times, as they each wanted to improve their skills and knowledge of the game. By the end of the tournament, the girls were playing to game plans and structures that helped make their journey so successful.”

He said several girls were now looking to take up the sport outside of school next year, including Molly Warburton.

“Molly was one student who showed exceptional improvement, as she had never played AFL outside of school and, positioned in the ruck during the finals series, Molly excelled. To play in such a key position with no experience, against experienced opposition, was an outstanding individual effort.”

Helping Kennedy with the side were two of the school’s most talented footballers.

“Eshe Lane plays for Gisborne Youth Girls and received runner-up in the league best and fairest, and she helped me coach. Eshe is an outstanding leader and her coaching skills and maturity are exceptional for a person her age.

“The team was captained by Madison Presparkis who, at just 15, is in both the under-16 and under-18 all Australian Girls team and a member of the Vic Metro and under-18s Calder Cannons girls squad. Her leadership, both on and off the field, is outstanding.”