Centurions blistering start

Julia Nash. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 356232_44

Tara Murray

Things have been better than what Werribee Centrals’ coach Jade De La Rue could have imagined.

De La Rue took on the playing coach role this season and her side sits 5-1 in the Western Football League women’s competition.

De La Rue said it had been an awesome experience so far.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” she said. “After last year the whole coaching group hung up their boots.

“It’d been in place for a couple of years that I was to take over as player-coach. It’s worked even better than I expected.

“I was a little nervous about how I was going to do both jobs, playing and coaching. I can’t put into words how it all made me feel.”

De La Rue said she had some good support to be able to juggle both roles. She said the playing group had bought into what she was doing.

“We have five to seven new girls that have never played before,” she said. “It’s amazing to see those who have some experience taking on just as much a role as me helping them with skills.

“It has been huge.”

De La Rue said the focus for the group had been just on the match that was ahead of them and not looking too far down the track.

For her it was about what they were able to do, not about the side they were facing.

“We’re living in the moment,” she said. “We’re not taking advantage of the situation we’re in and are performing in the week and learning by experience.

“We don’t mention who we are playing. It’s about this week and this is the game plan and how we want to go about it.

“There can be a stigma [about who we’re play] and we want to take that away. It’s about the job and what they have to do.”

Having finished second last season before being knocked out in the preliminary final, De La Rue said they do take some confidence from what they had been able to do, but were focused on the future.

“I think we got so close last season before it finishing the way it did,” she said. “We were unlucky to go so close.

“When we stepped into pre-season we were not relying on what we did. We’re not going to get there without hard work.

“It’s taken the last four to five years get to the point where we are. We take it week to week and the confidence is growing as a group as a whole.

“There’s so much support on an off field.”

The Centurions on Friday night faced the Suns for the first time.

The Suns spoiled the Centurions winning start to the season, with the Suns winning 6.1 (37)-3.3 (21).

In other matches, Parkside Spurs beat West Footscray, Laverton was too strong for North Sunshine and Yarraville Seddon beat Wyndhamvale.