Late last year there were three things you could have got very long odds for over at Kanebridge Oval in Rouse Hill. Yeah I know. Bet responsibly and all that relevant advice. But if you’d ignored all those “good judges” telling you what they thought and placed your hard earned on the East Coast Eagles playing in the Grand Final of the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division, then you would have cleaned up big time last Saturday.
And, if you also placed a bet on the Eagles’ ladies Reserve Grade team, who were put into Division Two, also playing off in their Grand Final, then your bookie would be reeling. And to top it all off, if you took the trifecta that a father and son combination would coach the two teams, then you’re probably collecting from the bookie’s estate right at this moment.
In what may well go down as one of the most remarkable stories of season 2019, all of the above came true last Saturday at Blacktown when Peter Steer coached his Premier Division team into next Saturday’s Grand Final. Whilst at the same time, 50 kilometres away, son Damon was getting his side over the line at Henson Park.
The AFL had only promoted East Coast to the Premier Division in December last year following a considered submission by the Eagles which had defeated others from rival clubs. The admission of the Eagles was controversial at the time, but throughout the season Steer progressively gathered together a group of girls who had the will to go all the way. They had come from a variety of different backgrounds to be nurtured and ‘steered’ into a set of players who Peter describes as “quite possibly the most committed group I’ve ever coached.”
In that Premier Division team which played last Saturday, seven girls are in their first ever season of AFL footy, eight came from previous homegrown teams at East Coast, two from other Division One clubs, three from AFLW club the GWS Giants and the last girl came from feeder junior club the Kellyville Magpies.
“All the girls just want to get better”, said Steer. “They actually take the feedback given to them and act on it. The improvement since Round 1 is exponential. Damon and I are overawed by their attitude and enthusiasm at training where they work as a group, not as separate teams.”
The Div Two girls have been even more miraculous. After Round 7 they were second bottom on the ladder. By the end of the home and away season they had scraped into the final five at Round 18. They have just won their last six matches to secure the Grand Final spot. “I’m so proud of Damo. And the girls love him” proclaimed his delighted Dad. “He’s done an awesome job”.
Steer says that both teams are in good shape and morale is high for their respective Grand Finals this coming weekend. Macquarie University are the opponents in both games and even in the short history of Women’s football at East Coast, a real rivalry has developed between Eagles and the Warriors and there’s no doubt it will be continued this weekend.
Saturday September 14th – Premier Division
East Coast v Macquarie Uni at 1.30pm
Sunday September 15th – Division Two
East Coast v Macquarie Uni at 3.50pm
Grand Finals are hard to get into, let alone win. Why not show your support for both teams and get to Blacktown International Sportspark Oval
Rooty Hill NSW 2766