By Jackson Russell

Wallan’s first women’s football team has started successfully despite just having four players with any football experience.

The Mitchell Magpies won their first practice match and followed up with a win over Reservoir in their first grading game before going down to an experienced St Mary’s by 40 points on Sunday.

Coach Danny Parry said the team had gone from having just 13 players when he arrived to 28 now fighting for selection.

“I helped West Preston set up their women’s team two years ago so I know that numbers do come along. I also coached La Trobe University’s women’s side so I know numbers slowly increase as you go on so I wasn’t too worried about it,” he said.

“For most it’s their first time playing footy ever and skills-wise, we’re just doing basic skills. What I focus on is playing for each other and helping each other out, that’s what I concentrate on. The skills will come over the next couple of years.”

Parry said wins were good, but they were not the main focus this season.

“As long as the girls are learning and having fun, that’s what I look at. It’s always good to have a win but as long as they can say they’ve learned a lot this year, I’ll be happy as a coach,” he said.

“They want to learn, that’s the thing between males and females at the moment, these women have never played before and they want to learn and they listen and they do learn quickly.”

Parry has seen the introduction of women’s football create a culture shift at previous clubs and hopes it will do the same at Wallan.

“I’ve noticed being at other clubs, once the women get involved, the whole dynamic of the club and culture changes so it’s really good for the club as well,” he said.