Women’s footy focus for Tigers

Chris Clifton (Supplied)

Tara Murray

It’s full steam ahead for Lancefield as it aims to field its first women’s team in the Riddell District Football League next year.

After looking to have a team this year but unable to get the numbers, the Tigers are making a big push to have a side next year.

The Tigers first step is naming Chris Clifton as their inaugural women’s coach.

Clifton brings plenty of experience to the role, including having been an assistant coach for Collingwood’s AFLW team, development coach at Greater Western Sydney and coached Queanbeyan Tigers women’s side and been part of numerous development programs.

Clifton said he had put his hand up to help the club get a women’s side off the ground.

“I was posted down this way for work, I’m in the army,” he said. “I linked up with the club through one of my mates and I was helping out with the junior club the last 12 months.

“They were talking about getting a senior women’s team up and I said ‘hey, I’m here and I have a bit more to give’.

“I was keen to give a bit more time to the club.”

Having helped establish and run women’s programs across the country, Clifton knows it’s not as simple as just turning up to play.

He said a lot of work has to be done to get things in place.

“It’s exciting for me,” he said. “There’s something about putting programs in place to help community clubs get up and running.

“There’s a fair bit behind and making sure you have the right support for the team. The committee, the coaching staff, the program itself.

“Starting the program is the most important thing, regardless of the experience levels. We want to get the program up and running and having the right things in place, success will come down the track.”

Clifton said their first point of call was to touch base with all the players that had expressed interest in joining the club previously.

The club is having two sessions before Christmas, December 6 and 13 with players of all abilities welcome.

Clifton said he was ready to get started.

“It’s very exciting looking at a community perspective,”: he said. “Young girls coming through playing junior footy have somewhere to go at the footy club at senior level if that’s what they are passionate about.”

Lancefield president Joe Schembri said the club was thrilled to put its hand up to start a women’s program

“We have a number of junior girls sides but previously there hasn’t been a women’s side for them to advance to, well we decided to fix that,” he said. “Having someone like Chris at the helm, with all the experience and success he brings, means we can build something to give players in this district the chance to be the best they can be.”

Anyone interested in playing can contact Chris on 0419 407 764 or team manager Em Condron 0416 008 150 or email the club at lancefieldfnc@gmail.com.