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We're the Voice


The Roy Women’s squads were up for the first practice games at Vic Park on Sunday. On the famous old ground of many victories, honourable losses and inelegant supporters, the Roygirls’ arrival was heralded by an air balloon. Albeit one sporting the not-very-sporting colours of black and red.

From the get go, the Senior Women looked the goods against Geelong Districts – despite the opposition’s seemingly taller, stronger, more mature bodies.

But what we fell short on in height was well made up for in dash and dare. Despite missing some of their senior stars, the Roys took the advice of their coaches, staying in front, retaining the space, tackling hard, and effortlessly running the ball from the backline.

As the senior coach said, the effort was awesome all day – in his opinion something that’s non-negotiable for anyone who plays for Fitzroy.

“And how’s our voice?” he asked in the huddle. “Not bad” was the consensus. “Yeah, not bad,” said the coach, “but we need to be better, louder, more directive to our teammates.”

At the end of the seniors’ quarters, the score said it was 4.2 to Geelong Districts’ 4.3. But in reality, pure numbers didn’t reflect the superiority of the Roys’ game plan and execution. Of note were returning players Lauren Atkinson and Eilish Grunden and new recruits Simone Mooney, Olive Nicholson and Sarah Yule who showed amazing skills and presence of mind.

Olive, in particular, coming up from the Juniors, shone in a seminal passage of play. Then came the Two’s. After a scrappy and nervous start, the Roys looked to be way behind the opposition in experience and skill.

And that was clearly the case. That was, until coach Jason delivered some straight simple messages: protect the ball carrier, have faith in one another, keep on testing your untested skills.

An example, just before the break, illustrated his point. When the oval ball found out Caroline Gunning, one of our Irish Roys obviously more used to the predictability of the round ball, he applauded the attempt. The other coaches, and the player group, endorsed this instruction.

The result: a follow up quarter played with heart and confidence and positive results on the scoreboard. As the coach said, “We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re definitely getting there.”

As for this scribe, one of the most impressive messages delivered was to the five or six debutants from the Juniors. And it comes back to the Voice.

“Don’t be afraid to tell us what to do. We’re here to listen.”

JG Gorilla

*Joining our stable of Fitzroy footy scribes, JG Gorilla adds her voice to regulars Guy and Garry to amplify the feats of our women’s squads. JGG is named after former Fitzroy president extraordinaire – one Joan Gabrielle Eddy.

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