It’s the tournament that launched the careers of SANFL premiership players Meg Ryan and Shelby Raven and this time around there are no less than 18 of our girls in the fifth women’s South Australian Country Football Championships event.
This year the Northern Zone girls start with a clash against hosts the Central Zone at Angaston Oval, in the 9.30am timeslot, today, Saturday, July 8.
The second game is at the same venue against the Eastern Zone, starting at 12 noon. The pair of matches on Saturday are each of two by 25 minute-half contests.
A win in both games will guarantee a berth in the Grand Final of the women’s competition, which will be held at Nuriootpa Oval on Sunday, starting at 11.20am. If not, they will be in play-off matches earlier in the day.
The predictions are it will be a wet and windy weekend weather-wise, which means the ball will be on the ground a lot and teams will need to play percentage football, with goals being at a premium.
The Northern Zone side, which has always included a strong Silver City contingent, were triumphant at 2021 Country Champs title in Victor Harbor and has competed each year the women’s sides have been in SA state country titles, starting in 2018 at Renmark.
Sadly, last season at the 2022 titles in Whyalla, the Zone slumped to sixth and the bottom of the ladder.
New Northern Zone women’s coach Ethan Kimball confirmed he’s looking to implement a few more structures to make this side competitive at Zone Level this year.
Both the versatile Ashley Forbes and on-baller Shae Nevill from South Broken Hill Kangaroos will share leadership duties.
“We have a sound group going into the weekend and we are going to give it a red hot crack.”
“[I’m] Very honoured and pumped to have the role,” Nevill, a local talent, growing up in the Silver City, said of her role as co-captain.
“I have played in two previous Country Champs, along with a number of Rep games for Broken Hill. Along with playing in two premierships for South, the 2021 country champs win in Victor was one of the high points of my career.
“I have been around Silver City footy for a fair while now, having played upwards of 100 games and seen the competition start. We have a sound group going into the weekend and we are going to give it a red hot crack.”
Other talents in the Northern Zone squad from the Broken Hill Football League include Mellisa Kennan who is leading the way in front of goal in the women’s competition, having kicked 20 goals across the opening seven rounds, and been among her club’s best on five occasions, while two sided player from the Central Magpies, Nikki Phillips, has kicked 18 goals.
Among the other key personal, Abbey Stevens is a ball winning and incept marking midfielder/half back from Roos.
The Roos ruck, Harris Ralph, is dynamic and athletic, with the ability to win her own ball and Central Broken Hill Magpie, Ash Forbes, across half forward has a strong ability with foot and hand to create and hit targets.
West Broken Hill’s Robin, Mel Calliss, is a classy ball user, with the ability to run and carry.
Broken Hill members of the Northern Zone squad for 2023
Elke Page – Central
Zoe Imisides – Central
Kylie Horner – Central
Charli Cullen – Central
Paige Cuy – West
Sasha Harrington – Central
April Dempster- Central
Paris Ralph – South
Melissa Calliss – West
Emma Camilleri – Central
Phoebe Knell – Central
Shae Neville – South
Ashleigh Forbes – Central
Ash Anderson – Central
Melissa Keenan – South
Abby Stevens – South
Tegan Coombes – Central
Nikki Phillips – Central