St Kilda Sharks A Club of Optimists

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Hello again sports fans Daisy here. Recently I took a trip to Peanut Farm Reserve to have a chat with the President(Keryn),Vice President(Jessica) and Captain(Tamara)of the St Kilda Sharks women’s football team who from what I was told would be the longest standing club that has not changed their name since being established in 1992. There have been other teams that have changed names or merged or folded but not the Sharks.
What a beautiful looking ground compared to most that you see in the local competition.
The St Kilda Sharks women’s teams come under  the same umbrella as the men’s teams which is the St Kilda City Sports Club but they are really two separate entities. Although they support each other they do not share functions and they train on different nights as well as playing on different days.
Arriving there on a Friday night which was the clubs last training session of the year I sat down and got straight down to business.
Although I sat down with all three women at the same time I will break it up a bit.
Starting with the Captain and as of  the last game 100 gamer Tamara “Tammy” Norquay. Tammy got started thanks to a girl named Penny Cula-Reid that a lot of you may remember was involved in a court case to extend the age of girls playing in the junior boys competition. Tammy grew up playing cricket  with Penny and came down one weekend to watch Penny play footy and was playing herself the next weekend.  I asked Tammy what her favourite moment in her career has been. “Obviously playing 100 games is a pretty special moment and to play it at the same club is quite unique and to play it at the Sharks makes it extra special for me. Also a few years back we went through a stage were we hadn’t won a game for a year and a half when we got that win to get the ball rolling that was special and the excitement and enthusiasm”. Also very proud of the off field aspect of the club Tammy feels that the way they are on field is the way they are off field- always sticking together. “What makes me happy to be part of this club is the friendships I’ve gotten out of playing here, I think on the field we’re good, off the field we are awesome”.
Next we move to the VP Jessica Humphries a 120 gamer who started playing footy with The Sharks because she had two older brothers and a love of the game. She boasts that she is better at footy than both of them. “My favourite moment would have to be being part of a flag a few years ago I was out injured at the time but still a big part of it”. Although the club is having a tough few years at the moment Jess remains optimistic that the next win is just around the corner.
Leaving the Boss till last the President Keryn Ralph is an 80 gamer who had finished playing hockey and had some friends playing at The Sharks and thought she would give it a go. Even though Keryn hasn’t played in a flag winning side or played 100 games she can still claim something most others cant “I like being President that’s pretty satisfactory for me. We had a good final against Melbourne Uni where we ended up getting over them by four points it was pretty good to get into the grand final but any win at the moment would be good”.
After getting those kinds of questions out of the way we were able to tackle some real questions in a more open forum.
I asked who would be their main rivals as just about every footy club has a rival they just have to beat but I was told that NO they don’t really have a rival. After poking a little more the girls admitted that they have had some good tough games against East Burwood as well as Melbourne Uni. Those are the games that they like getting up and about for. It also means that you probably wont see any biffo in the Premier Division of the VWFL(Victorian Women’s Football League) with most of the girls who are playing being extremely athletic and taking there football seriously, the most you might get is a bit of push and shove.
Although the girls have different stances on most things one thing they all agree on is that having there own league is better than them playing in the local senior comp with the men. All of them believe they wouldn’t have the toughness and pace to be competitive there is the belief they could compete with an Under 18s men’s side. They are appreciative to have a handful of men who train with them which gives the coaching panel a chance to see who will put their head over the ball and who won’t regardless of consequences. As well as playing football they all have full time jobs so its not like they can just say “If I get hurt playing football that’s ok because that’s my job”.
As most competitions do the VWFL plays representative football every year this year was no different with Vic Country vs Vic Metro, the Sharks were represented by three players. Two played in the Vic Metro side (Penny Cula-Reid and Alex Vanderwaal) and one of their young guns, a 19 year old Cassie Standley, played for the Vic Country side.
That’s about it but one thing that needs rectifying is the lack of media attention that these girls get The national women’s soccer competition is broadcast on the ABC so why is there not at least a game of the week for our women’s aussie rules teams? The only time I have really heard anything was recently when The Local Footy Show spoke of the change of ground for the VWFL Premier Division grand final.
A big thanks to the girls for taking the time to have a chat with me and I wish the Sharks all the best for the future.
If you would like to join the St Kilda Sharks go to the VWFL website for more information.

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