AFTER several years on the drawing board, Moe United Soccer Club is set to field its first women’s team in the Gippsland Soccer League this season.
The Red Devils fell just short on the required numbers in 2014 after renovating their clubrooms and facilities to accommodate a women’s side, but with a dozen interested players and the appointment of club stalwart Adam Cassar as coach the concept has now come to fruition.
Coinciding with a GSL push for an expanded, female exclusive competition and a MUSC drive to re-establish itself as a family club, Cassar said the catalyst for Moe’s team came from grassroots enthusiasm.
“I think it’s more the motivation for the women to decide what they want to do with not only their family lives but something else on the social scene, wanting to be fit,” Cassar said.
“There are girls that have experience at different clubs and in different leagues, either they’ve played squad or indoor soccer, and if they bring it to the club… they teach other people.”
The team has begun training at Moe Racecourse – soon to return to Olympic Park – and numbers have already jumped from seven to about 12.
Cassar said he hoped to see the side replicate the success of other upstart women’s teams in the Latrobe Valley.
“The push for the women in the last five years has been brilliant, Churchill’s had a couple of sides win titles, Fortuna as well, Tyers has got a good team and even Sale. I’ve refereed some of those girls from juniors and some of them have actually made it to state league sides,” he said.
“There has been I’d say jokes around in regards to you can’t win the grand final or the league in the first year, but you never know really.
“They are an odd bunch so to speak, different personalities but that’s what makes a good team.”
Cassar has refereed women’s soccer in the past, coached squash and basketball and has helped out with junior and senior sides at MUSC.
Taking on the women’s team was his way of giving back to the club when alternative coaching arrangements fell through, and he will receive assistance from the men’s coaching group headed by Lee Dastey, the committee, playing group and the support of his fianc Aleshia Kramme.
“I thought I owe it to the club, I’ve been there for over 20-odd years so I thought I’d give it a go,” Cassar said.
“Because I’m playing as well it’s more trying to juggle the coaching as well as playing and I’ve got the flexibility with other people to help me out.”
MUSC recently completed extensive works to its secondary field at Olympic Park in a large scale working bee over the Australia Day weekend to ensure suitable playing and training conditions for juniors and the women’s team.
The club will host its first function for the season on 20 March at Madisons; tickets are available at the MUSC clubrooms on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Women’s training is held Tuesday and Thursday evenings ahead of season start mid-March, and any prospective players are invited to attend.
For more information phone Adam Cassar on 0412 874 806.