Fitzroy Football Club: Great football, Great community, Great culture.

Roy Girls Give it Their All in Semi Final


This article was written in conjunction with Cass Blake, captain of Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women's side and teacher at Thornbury High School. Unfortunately, they went down by a goal to Beaumaris in the Premier B Semi Final on Saturday. Spirits are up however.

The pre-match message from coach Bronte Ryan was for the Roy girls to play their own game, to enjoy the experience, to discard the 'final' feeling, to treat it like any other game. COVID had of course delivered a 2-week break prior to the finals, not something you necessarily want when your form is on the up.

We started well, but Beauy were ferocious, big, a long list, and on their home pitch. It was a surreal experience, 4.45pm start, no spectators, getting dark, a huge ground. Teisha Parkinson kicked a big goal just before the siren, making it 2-2-14 apiece at the first break, and suddenly the girls realised it was a BIG GAME.

The quarter time huddle reiterated the point that we were getting first use, but beaten comprehensively at ground level. Cass mentioned that at this point she realised that she was in the middle of the hardest game of football she had ever played, on the back of a 2-week hiatus.

It seemed like Beauy were on top during the second, they kicked the only goal of the quarter, but our camaraderie was simply outstanding. Everyone wanted to be there.

The feeling in the sheds at the long break was positive, no one had dropped their heads. After half time, the Roy girls were 'amped' (not a term my old head was familiar with, but I think it means they were up for the fight). Despite this, Beauy kicked two goals to our one for the quarter. A huge challenge confronted the girls. Torrential rain had now replaced wind as mother nature's way of dealing with a 2-goal deficit.

Photo by Hannah Knocker

Throughout the last quarter, Cass genuinely believed her troops would win. We were winning every contest, but Beauy had flooded all 18 players into our forward half. It was tough going. The siren rang with us a goal short, but thinking we had another 5 minutes of regular time left.

The girls were gutted, but formed an arm-in-arm circle in the middle of the ground. Coach Bronte expressed extreme pride in the group, how she was so grateful and honoured to be with them. Cass had never been involved with a group like this before, clearly they are something special. Plenty of tears, gut retching, extreme disappointment, but pride and passion.

A few of the girls assembled last night at a Fitzroy establishment for a bit of sorrow drowning, but so pleased to be around each other. And proud of their efforts. A footy trip to Torquay in October, pre season, and we're up for another, more confident crack at a flag.

The club is so proud of our women’s playing group, as it is of all of teams. We know that this team can approach the future with confidence.

Guy Gorilla

Watch the game here:
First Quarter
Second Quarter
Third Quarter
Final Quarter

Photo by Hannah Knocker

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