Grammarians relaunch women’s program

Westbourne Grammarians are restarting their women's program. (Supplied)

Tara Murray

Westbourne Grammarians’ relaunch of their women’s program is off to the perfect start, securing a premiership-winning duo to lead the way.

The Grammarians, who didn’t field a senior side at all in 2023, announced they were relaunching their women’s program on social media.

The Victorian Amateur Football Association club last had a women’s side in 2019 and it made finals that year after winning a premiership in 2018.

To lead the new phase of the program, the club has appointed Ian Allan and former Bulldogs star Chris Grant as co-coaches.

The pair coached at Spotswood the past eight seasons, including winning two senior premierships, including this year. They started coaching in under-16s before moving up to under-18s and seniors.

Allan said while they leave Spotswood with mixed feelings, they are keen to get started at Westbourne.

He said they reflect back on their time at Spotswood proudly with what they had achieved and the club would always be close to his heart, but they were now focused on the future.

“We are looking forward to the next challenge,” he said. “We’re pretty excited to get the opportunity and be part of the competition.

“It’s the best local women’s competition in Victoria and pretty much in Australia as well.

“It’s the next phase for us. We’ve seen this as a really good opportunity with a club with a really good history.”

Allan said there was a lot of unknown about joining a new club and competition and it was something that was exciting.

Several of the Spotswood playing group and off field team have also made the decision to move across to Westbourne as well.

He said having not lost many games in their time in the senior competition, it could be a different challenge from what they were used to but one they were ready for.

“We didn’t force anyone to come across with us,” he said. “The exciting part of it is the unknown and the challenge for the girls to take their footy to the next level.

“There will be unknown teams that we have never experienced before and it will help the girls really grow.”

Allan said they were hoping that some of the players who were part of it before COVID-19 hit hard would return the club, but knows it’s been a few years since that and things have changed.

He said that anyone who was interested could come on down and they had put their aim at getting two sides together.

Training started last week with more than 20 girls at the first session.

“We’re building the foundations and we’ll see how it goes from there,” he said.

“Our main focus is having fun and helping the players better themselves.

“Being a team spot the girls will have visions and we will look to give it a good hard crack.”