Grand Final replay for women

The Coffs Breakers and Northern Beaches Blues during the 2020 AFL North Coast Women's Grand Final. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

IT’S only Round 2 but Saturday’s clash between Northern Beaches and the Coffs Breakers is already taking on extra significance.

Both the Blues and the Breakers recorded impressive first-up win last weekend and the victor of this match will have the chance to head straight to the top of the ladder.

For Northern Beaches, it’s also a chance to extract some semblance of revenge for the 22-point loss they suffered to the Breakers in last year’s grand final.

Alana Hanson is one of six players within a Northern Beaches leadership group that the match day captaincy is rotated through each week.

She said playing against the Breakers after last year’s defeat means that this match “probably does mean more” but most will be looking to see how the group has progressed over the off-season.

“It’s been fantastic that we’ve been able to retain most of our players from last year. It gives us the opportunity to build ob last year and grow from there,” Hanson said.

“We see the Breakers as a measuring stick to see how we’ve improved.”

Coffs Breakers coach Brad Giri said almost half of last year’s premiership team is missing from the current line-up but he’s looking forward to seeing how the new recruits fare against Northern Beaches.

“The Blues are probably the toughest team in the competition at this stage apart from Port Macquarie who are looking good as well,” Giri said.

“It will be an interesting hitout to see how we’re going and where we’re up to.”

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2020 AFL North Coast Women’s Grand Final between the Coffs Breakers and Northern Beaches Blues. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

OAKES Oval in Lismore will be an exciting contest for the AFL North Coast’s women’s grade as it features two teams who weren’t part of the competition last year.

The Lismore Swans will be playing their first match under the AFL North Coast banner while Port Macquarie is returning after taking a year off during what was a challenging 2020 for all.

The Lismore Swans women’s team will make its AFL North Coast debut on Saturday. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing

Club president and player Laura Cahill said the Swans, who have “a bunch of new girls”, can’t wait to take their first steps in the new competition.

“We’re extremely excited,” Cahill said.

“We were actually a little bit disappointed we couldn’t play our first game last week but for those new girls to have the chance to play their first game at home, it will be great.

“It looks like it’s going to be a bit of a wet game this week which will be fun.”

The last time the Magpies played they actually won the 2019 premiership but their co-coach Kye Taylor said it might take a few weeks before this year’s group is able to reach those lofty standards.

“We’re looking good but we’ve only got about three or four players who’ve played before,” Taylor said.

“The girls are pretty excited to play their first game of the season and are fired up to get out there, especially the girls who haven’t played before.”

If you post any junior, youth or senior footy photos to Instagram, use #aflnorthcoast and #40yearsstrong and we’ll repost them on @aflnorthcoast

ROUND 2 – Saturday, May 1

Northern Beaches v Coffs Breakers at Centennial Oval, Woolgoolga
(11.50am – Women; 1.20pm – Reserves; 2.50pm – Seniors)
Lismore Swans v Port Macquarie at Oakes Oval, Lismore
(1.20pm – Women; 2.50pm – Seniors)
Casino v Grafton at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino
(2.50pm – Seniors)
Sawtell/Toormina v Nambucca Valley at Richardson Park, Sawtell
(10.00am – Under-17s (Sawtell v Grafton); 1.20pm – Reserves (Sawtell v Port); 2.50pm – Seniors)

Port Macquarie returns to the women’s competition in 2021. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing