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Gemma Minuz is not keeping a lid on it!


When she first arrived at Fitzroy as one of the inaugural Fitzroy-ACU team members, Gemma Minuz had played just three days and four uni games worth of football and that was more than plenty of her team mates.

On Sunday she will lead her team out in the premier division of the largest community womens football competition in Australia a first for the VAFA and she says her happy team has the opportunity to set the standard.

Being a foundation club we have an amazing opportunity to really set the standard in the competition this year.

We have a huge number of new faces in the squad this year, but with a solid pre-season behind us I expect that both teams will come out strong right from the start. I have real confidence in the depth of our squad, the knowledge of our coaches and our commitment to skill development and expect both teams to set the bar high in the competition (that's keeping a lid on it right?!).

I think right from the beginning we have had a really strong identity as Roygirls which is something that will continue to develop with this new squad. Being a Roygirl means that we play a particular brand of footy but ultimately that we play for each other, and that has been a real strength of ours over the last two seasons, and no doubt will continue into 2017./p>

The opportunity to play football in a partnership between Fitzroy and the Australian Catholic University could not have worked out better for Gemma.

From 2011-2013 I looked after Sport at ACU, which included heading up the mighty Whooping Birds (ACU's footy team) at uni games. We were always blessed with having an amazing group of girls in the team and Mark Young (then national director of sport at ACU) and I always dreamed of having an ACU womens side competing in the VWFL. Luckily for me I kept in touch with the Whoopers and was absolutely stoked when, two years after I graduated, I heard the news that Fitzroy and ACU had joined forces to make the dream a reality,Gemma said.

It is no surprise that Gemma and her team mates are absolutely thrilled with the success of the AFLW competition this year, with the reaction about time!/p>

Gemma said going to her first ever game of AFLW was an experience she will never forget. I felt like a little kid on Christmas Eve! My highlight from the night was seeing two young boys, of about 10 or 11 years old, yelling at the top of their lungs "GO BLUE GIRLS" as the girls ran onto the ground they were cheering just as hard as they would for their mens team and the game hadn't even begun.

I'm so excited that this is the way that our future generations are going to grow up, seeing both men and women playing the game we all love and having young boys recognising the strength and skill of women, just as young girls have been identifying this within AFL footballers all of our lives./p>

Speaking of which, as a Carlton supporter Gemma grew up loving the likes of Kouta, Craig Bradley and Steve Silvagni. I still remember admiring their skills without ever dreaming that I would be playing the game one day too! I'm a massive fan of Kade Simpson and proudly wear the number 6 for the Roys as a salute to him; he's such a beautiful kick on both feet, and very rarely misses a target (something I definitely aspire to!). And of course Bri Davey who absolutely dominated the AFLW this season; I have so much admiration for her ability to read the play and her hardness at the contest.

Gemma says she was very honoured to be voted in as the Fitzroy-ACU captain by a fun, strong and hardworking bunch of women. With a narrow miss in the grand final last year and an increase in the depth of the squad, the team has come a long way since they celebrated Lauren Atkinson's point to get the Roygirls on the scoreboard for the first time back in 2015.

With her leadership perhaps they can go one step further. I think being able to recognise the strengths of others, and utilising those strengths is one of my best assets as a leader.

Our squad is full of intelligent, capable and highly skilled women who are all able to bring new perspectives and expertise to our team. Being approachable and willing to listen puts me in good stead to be an effective link between players and coaches, but hopefully overall I can lead by example both on and off the field in my commitment to the club and the team./p>


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