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Saints back Bayside’s best

Saints' womens masterclass Saints Assistant Coach Peta Searle talks you through our football masterclass for talented women in the Bayside area, taking another step towards an AFL womens team.

St Kilda’s quest to be part of the AFL Women’s Competition continues to strengthen ahead of an expected expansion announcement from the AFL next week.

The Saints are one of five clubs who hold a provisional license that are waiting for the AFL Commissions’ expansion plans to be finalised and to be given the green light to enter a team in 2019.

Key to the Saints’ plans is the strength of women’s football talent pool in Bayside Melbourne which the club has witnessed from close range during the past 18 months.

Throughout the Summer and early part of the AFL season, the Saints hosted the AFL Victoria Southern Women’s Academy which culminated in an exhibition match at Etihad Stadium ahead of the clash with Geelong in Round 5.

Now another exciting initiative has begun with an accelerated program for potential AFLW players running on Monday nights at the Linen House Centre.

General Manager of Football Performance Jamie Cox said the club was expecting to be part of the competition in 2019 and proceeding accordingly.

“Our focus over the past 18 months has been on developing talented players who reside in the Bayside area so that they are ready to step up to the elite level,” Cox said.

“The Bayside area is one of the strongest regions for women’s football in the country already when it comes to participation, but with the addition of a St Kilda AFLW team can become a powerhouse.

“Accelerating the development of the best players in our region is a key part of building a list and turning a strong participation base into an elite talent pool.

“Following on from the AFL Victoria Southern Academy, we’ve invited the best Bayside-based footballers who are not currently part of the AFLW Competition, along with talented athletes from other sports, to be part of a specialised training program.

“The Masterclass Series has seen the players exposed to almost every aspect of our own football program, including elite rehabilitation, nutrition and performance psychology.

“It gives them an insight into the elite environment and the opportunity to learn from our coaching group and high-performance team.

“We couldn’t be more committed to joining the competition at the earliest possible opportunity.