Female Football History
The first five years (2011 – 2015)
Redan established its first female football team in 2011, when the Youth Girls Under 18 team formed as one of four Ballarat Football Netball League youth girls teams in that first season of competition. In 2011 and 2012 Redan the youth girls played off in the Grand Finals against the undefeated Ballarat team, being beaten on the day in both games.
2013 was to be the year of the Lions. In an expanded ten team Under 18 competition which included teams from Gisborne, Riddells Creek and Ararat, Redan’s Youth team once again found its chief rival to be Ballarat. After being defeated by Ballarat in both home and away games and in the 1st Semi Final, Redan defeated Golden Point in the preliminary final to advance to a third premiership decider against Ballarat in a row.
In an epic grand final encounter, Redan finally prevailed against Ballarat at its 10th attempt sparking great celebrations.
2014 was significant for the formation of an open age women’s team and for the Redan Youth Girls going back-to-back, celebrating as Premiers and Champions in the Ballarat Football Netball League after defeating Lake Wendouree in the grand final by 44 points. Redan’s Open Age Women’s team played in Division 2 of the Victorian Women's Football League and made a semi-final appearance in their inaugural season.
In 2015 the Youth Girls again played off in yet another Premiership decider, but Lake Wendouree turned the tables to defeat Redan by 42 points by lake Wendouree The Redan Women’s team participated in finals once again , following up their semi final appearance in 2014 with a preliminary final in 2015.
2016 to now
2016 saw the formation of our Junior Girls U/12 team; one of four teams that formed a new competition in the Ballarat Football Netball League. In a fantastic first season the team remained undefeated all season to claim the title Champions and Premiers after defeating Lake Wendouree in the Grand final.
Redan open women’s competed in Division 1 of a restructured VWFL competition. After a slow start to the season the team found form in the later rounds to record some strong victories.
The Youth Girls played off in the 2016 Premiership decider for the sixth year in a row, falling to a strong Ararat team.
In 2017, the Open Age Women’s team left the Metropolitan Melbourne based VWFL competition to join a newly formed AFL Goldfields Completion of their own. Such was the level of interest in Women’s football, Redan fielded a team in both the first and second divisions – The only team to do so. The AFL Goldfields Competition included teams from Ballarat, Geelong and the Bellarine peninsula, Gisborne, Sunbury, Melton and Carisbrook. Redan’s division one team made it all the way to the Grand final only to be defeated by Nth Geelong.
2018 was a watershed year for Redan’s female football program with two significant breakthroughs. The first was the completion of a pathway for girls to play football with the formation of a Redan Under 15 side bridging the gap between the Under 13 and Under 18 teams. The Under 15 side proved competitive from the get go, eventually winning the first ever Under 15 premiership against Lake Wendouree by 10 points.
The second breakthrough was the first ever open age premiership. With the introduction of a woman’s league for Geelong and Bellarine peninsula reducing the pool of teams, the open age women’s two division AFL goldfields competition was consolidated into one division. Redan’s Open age women’s team broke through for an historic premiership against East Ballarat and cane within one point of remaining undefeated for the season. This was the first team from Ballarat ever to win the woman’s open age premiership.
The Under 13 side also made it to the Grand Final in 2018, going down to North Ballarat by 15 points.
2018 marked a celebration at the City Oval to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary for the first woman’s game ever played in Ballarat. Redan played Ballarat in the Open age game and won the first ever Lucas Girls perpetual trophy.
2019 saw Redan compete in three out of the four possible Grand Finals.
The Under 15 side defeated North Ballarat by 6 points to make it two premierships in two seasons of the competition. The Open Age and Under 13 sides finished runners up. This meant that the Open Age side and Under 13 sides have played off in the grand final in all three years of the existence of the competition so far.
With the formation of the national women’s competition in 2017 (AFLW), many Redan affiliated players were highly sought after by AFLW clubs. In the inaugural 2017 draft two female footballers with Redan connections were drafted. Nicole Hildebrand played with the Redan Women’s team in 2014. Nicole was drafted by Brisbane at pick 18 in the draft. Sally Riley was a Redan A Grade Netball Premiership player who pursued her football career after moving to the Northern Territory with her work. Sally was drafted by the Adelaide Crows at pick 39.
In the 2018 draft Maighan Fogus was drafted by Geelong with pick 47 and Sophie Alexander was drafted by Collingwood with pick 29. Amy McDonald was picked up in the 2019 national draft by Geelong with pick 80.
We look forward to the continuing growth, development and success of our Lady Lions! We are proud to be able to provide the opportunities for our female footballers to pursue their dreams.
With John Lawless, Garry Goyne (President) and Stewart Flack