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Lizards endangered as women step up

Tuesday, 6th December, 2011

KEEN: Willyama PDHPE teacher Lyndsay Kubiak is one of the many local girls who are eager to see a women’s football competition established. An all-girls team will take on the Shinglebacks in an exhibition game tonight. KEEN: Willyama PDHPE teacher Lyndsay Kubiak is one of the many local girls who are eager to see a women’s football competition established. An all-girls team will take on the Shinglebacks in an exhibition game tonight.

 By Darrin Manuel

Tonight’s exhibition football match will showcase class, grace, style - and the Shinglebacks.

The Lizards are set to take on the city’s female footballers in a “tackle and tag” game at the Jubilee Oval.

The format means that the Shinglebacks will only be able to tag their fleet-footed opponents in an attempt to cause a stoppage, while the girls will be able to tackle with full force.

The girls have been training under the Shinglebacks for the past few months and will be keen to show their coaches how far they’ve come.

Willyama PDHPE teacher and South fanatic Lyndsay Kubiak is one of the city’s many female football enthusiasts who will enjoy the opportunity to take to the field tonight.

“I’ve always loved footy, I’d always be out with the boys having a kick at half time in games, or out watching and supporting the Roos,” she said.

The 26 year-old boasts an impressive football pedigree; her father Colin played for Central, brother Ben plays for South, and she is related to legendary South forward Brad Brooks.

Ms Kubiak was a standout in a recent all-girls game between Central and West, and said she felt quite at home in the forward line.

“We were sort of everywhere, and I was in the backs for a while but I definitely enjoyed myself much more up forward.

“I did OK and kicked a few goals, I think I was channelling a bit of Brad there,” she laughed.

Ms Kubiak has also coached Willyama’s Year 7 and 8 girls to successive wins over Broken Hill High, and said her time spent with Shinglebacks could provide her students with an edge in the schools’ next encounter.

“It’s so good having their involvement, I’ll be able to bring the stuff I’ve learned back to school and develop the girls’ skills.

“The Shinglebacks have been awesome at training with all their support.”

The Shinglebacks’ Peter Nash has been helping to train the girls, but said he was confident that his band of old stagers would have too much guile for their opposition.

“Youthful legs and enthusiasm will carry the girls well but us old blokes will get the score on the board with our better foot skills and game sense,” said Mr Nash.

Tonight’s game will also serve as the final “come and try” match for 2011, as organisers look to gauge interest for a women’s competition in 2012.

“We still need more females 15 and over to come along and register their interest for a 2012 season so that we can field a team for all four clubs,” said Mr Nash.

“We ideally need each club to have 20-plus players so they can play full field.

“Plan B will be to introduce AFL Nine’s which is a modified 9-a-side version of AFL played across the field.”

Ms Kubiak said she hoped to see the game grow in the future, and encouraged any curious players or footy fans to come along.

“We’d like to get as many players out there as possible.

“A lot of spectators turned up at the last game and it was great to have all that local support behind us.

“All of us girls are really keen, and it would be good to have everyone else involved... we’d definitely like to see a bit more interest.”

Any girls over 15 years who are interested in playing should arrive at the Jubilee Oval at 5.30pm with shorts and boots or joggers.

Play will begin at 6pm, and any volunteers interested in acting as runners or waterboys are encouraged to come along.

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