VU POLYTECHNIC SENIOR WOMEN’S PREVIEW: POINT COOK CENTRALS
By KEL ROWE
Winning a premiership comes with both ups and downs, a lesson well-learned by Leanne Meyer, who returns for her 5th season as Head Coach of the Point Cook Centrals Senior Women’s side.
“Footy was back and the smiles were electric, but we quickly learned that celebrating a Premiership for months afterwards, does not help anyone’s return on the track”, Meyer laughed.
The side is the first in the VU Polytechnic Senior Women’s competition to officially earn a promotion, moving into Division 1 following their win over Caroline Springs in the 2022 Division 2 Grand Final. Getting into the preseason groove post-victory proved more difficult, and saw significant personnel change, but midway through the season Meyer sights gametime as the team’s turning point.
‘Once the games started, the vibe was back. Stepping up to Division 1, we are excited to compete against the best and learn every week.” she reflected.
“Not everyone returned this year, with a few retiring, but they leave on a very big high. We have welcomed a few fresh faces to Shark Park, and we are loving the energy and diversity of the 2023 playing group.”
It’s not just the playing group that’s had a refresh, with some new additions featuring amongst the Shark’s coaching staff. Following the birth of her first child in the off-season, 2022 Assistant Coach Hannah Duff has returned to the field, replaced on the sidelines by former co-captain Ebony Watkins, who retired at the conclusion of the 2022 Season.
Meyer is assisted on-field by Dkoda O’Shea, the Shark’s playing Assistant Coach, and the side is also fortunate to have a dedicated stats man in the form of Wayne Davis, who doubles as the coach of the Shark’s U18.5 Girls team.
The connection to their junior counterparts is particularly important to Meyer, who sees this year as an opportunity to build on that pathway and ensure a clear trajectory for the Point Cook Centrals Junior girls who are striving to play Senior footy.
“The club is supporting the female pathway we are creating. We know that Division 1 won’t be easy, but our goal is to stick together. If we improve each week and get better in the second half of the year, then we are content with our season,” Meyer said.
Despite not registering a win so far this season, the Sharks are determined to play their brand of footy — one that is “contested, fair and consistent” as they face their opposition week-to-week.
“We look forward to playing the Spurs, being a new side to the comp, and one that has great club history. It’s also nice to play Yarraville again, as we have had some great battles with them over the years,” Meyer said.
In their most recent hit-out, the Sharks ran close to the Spurs until the final quarter, in a physical, pressure-filled game. Despite missing out on the win, the match showed encouraging signs of a side finally finding their feet amongst the top division competition.
As they move through the remainder of the 2023 Season, aiming for that first Division 1 win, Meyer wants her players to keep their focus on their development. “I would like the players to continue to learn, develop their roles in the team and of course, always bring an A+ vibe — because that is contagious and footy should always be FUN!” she said
Catch Point Cook Centrals in action this Saturday morning, when they take on ladder-leaders Spotswood at Featherbrook Reserve.