St Kilda's AFLW game on Sunday will see the next generation of female footballers converge on RSEA Park, but not how you might think.
Nominated by local coaches and parents, the inaugural Mitey Sainters Squad, sees some of the south’s most enthusiastic and energetic junior female footballers from the South Metro Junior Football League come together to support St Kilda's AFLW team.
Fuelled by one of Australia’s most loved household staples, VEGEMITE, the Mitey Sainters Squad, aged between 7 and 14 years, will have a presence at every home game this AFLW season.
“Melbourne’s south is the fastest growing catchment area for girls' football in the country, so having the Mitey Sainters Squad on board to represent that growth and the pathways available to women and girls in our region is fantastic,” St Kilda chief executive officer Simon Lethlean said.
“Our AFLW athletes have all had very unique and individual pathways to the highest level, but by having programs like our Next Generation Academy and initiatives like the Mitey Sainters Squad, ensures that nothing stands in the way of girls wanting to pursue footy at all levels.”
To kick off the program, the VEGEMITE Mitey Sainters Squad were treated to an exclusive clinic hosted by AFLW stars Jamiee Lambert, Erin McKinnon, Tyanna Smith and Liv Vesely, to help hone their skills and build excitement ahead of the season.
As well as having VIP access to all home games, the 25-member squad will have the opportunity to run out alongside the AFLW side when it meets Collingwood in Round 4 at RSEA Park.
AFLW ruck Erin McKinnon had the honour of officially welcoming the Mitey Sainters Squad for 2023.
“To know that these girls not only have the opportunity to watch us, but also run out with the girls they see on TV, is really incredible,” McKinnon said.
“Hopefully it’s something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”
VEGEMITE AND THE VEGEMITE DEVICE ARE TRADEMARKS OF BEGA CHEESE LIMITED, USED UNDER LICENCE.