NFC Senior Women

Redlegs striving “to play the Norwood way” in 2023 SANFLW Season

The 2023 Hostplus SANFL Women’s League Season is just one week away, with Norwood hosting North Adelaide at Coopers Stadium next Friday to kick off the 2023 campaign. 

First-year Norwood SANFLW Coach Brad Snell said he was happy with his side’s pre-season, and was excited to see the SANFLW and Development League teams run out next Friday, February 17.

“We are pretty excited, when you have worked for four-and-a-half months through pre-season and played a couple of trials you are keen to get into the season,” he said.

“We started pre-season in October, and in the lead-up to that we brought in about 12 new coaches, and introduced a different program to how it was formerly ran – everyone has embraced it.

“We have placed a focus on skill acquisition and game sense from day one and the players have loved that.

“Skill acquisition, strength and conditioning, as well as teaching the players how we want to play – to play the Norwood way – has got the girls more confident in our style of footy.”

Under lights at Coopers Stadium next Friday, the Redlegs SANFLW side will play the reigning premier Roosters from 7:30pm, while the Development League Norwood V North match will open the night at 5:40pm.

“Round 1 we have the reigning premiers in North, and we have been setting ourselves all pre-season for that – we are excited to see where we sit,” Snell said.

“To play under the new lights in Round 1 is exciting. We had a test run under them in the trial match against Glenelg, and they were incredible – it makes you proud to be a part of Norwood Football Club.”

The Redlegs SANFLW and Development League squads played two trial matches in the lead up to the 2023 Season, facing North Adelaide at Thebarton Oval on Saturday, January 28, and then Glenelg at Coopers Stadium on Friday, February 3.

The Roosters ran out winners in the SANFLW trial match 1, 7.12-54 to 1.2-8, while it was a much closer affair in the Development League match, with North taking out a two-point win (7.3-45 to 6.7-43).

Both sides responded in the second trial against Glenelg, with the Senior Women toppling the Tigers 7.7-49 to 3.1-19, while the Development Squad Redlegs claimed a 7.8-50 to 3.2-20 win.

Snell said both Norwood sides learnt a lot from the trials.

“Playing North in the first trial we were a fair way off, so we are excited to have another crack at them in Round 1,” he said.

“We learnt so much about what a Premiership team does, and we actioned a lot between the first and second trials, and I think we will be better again in Round 1.

“The game styles between our two trial games were chalk and cheese – we didn’t play the way we wanted to play against North and completely turned that around against Glenelg.”

Snell said his 2023 Women’s Squad was a nice mix of experience, youth, and exciting new recruits.

“We have a nice group of 22-to-30-year-olds who bring a lot of experience, and then a big bunch of amazingly talented 16-to-19-year-olds which every SANFLW list tends to have,” he said.

“We have recruited some local girls this year, and also gone far and wide to introduce some big fish into the program, such as Megan Gaffney (GWS), Emily Newton (Sydney Swans Academy), Georgie Jaques (Canberra), and Tahlita Buethke (South Adelaide) and they are starting to shine.

“Some of the returning girls, Morgan Johnston, Tesharna Maher, Alana Lishmund and Molly Brooksby are all really exciting as well.”

Snell – who is the Director of Learning and Teaching at Wilderness School – moves into the Head Coaching role, having spent last year as SANFLW Midfield Coach.

“Last year we had a group of girls who really cared about their football, the club and eachother, so I didn’t need to focus on building that culture too much when I came into the head coaching role,” he said.

“We have focused this preseason on becoming more consistent, and lifting the standard on how we want to play.

“We want to play the way we have discussed throughout preseason in the early rounds.

“We finished fifth last year and we want to play finals footy this year, and who knows what can happen.

“The Men’s team was an inspiration to the group in what they were able to achieve last year, so we aren’t putting a ceiling on what we can achieve.”

If you would like to support the Women’s teams, get along to every game and take out the brand new Norwood W Club Membership.

Norwood reigning Best and Fairest Tesharna Maher in action during the SANFLW trial match last Friday, February 3.

New Norwood Senior Women’s Coach Brad Snell, right, addressing his players during last Friday’s match at Coopers Stadium.