With less than a week until the first game of Canberra’s 2015 AFL season, Molonglo Juggernauts Football Club’s (MFC) three senior teams are ready to build on last season’s success – though president Anthony Cutting says doing so won’t be easy.
“Last year our men’s division two team and our women’s division two team made it to the grand finals, and so one of our goals for this season is to see all three teams in a grand final. It would be a first for us,” he says.
In fact, the 2015 season will be only the third that the Juggernauts have fielded a women’s team. Anthony, who has played for the club for almost a decade, says this is one of the club’s biggest achievements since its last grand final win in 2005.
“We tried several times to get a women’s team going, and we’d had some interest over the years, but it never really took off until we were approached by a few experienced women’s players who wanted to start a Juggernauts women’s team. It was their determination and drive that really got things started,” he says.
As someone who played a single season in the Canberra AFL women’s competition a couple of years ago, I have to hand it to our city’s female AFL players. People think women’s sport isn’t that full-on, but I’ve seen enough ACL fractures, broken ribs and players being lifted off the field on stretchers to know better. It’s a beautiful game, but my goodness, you need to be tough to last multiple seasons. Respect!
Anthony says that one of the benefits of playing for a community-focused club like MFC is that while there is always a drive to win, coming out on top isn’t the only thing the club values.
“There’s a great love for the club from the players. It’s not win at all costs. You can be competitive but you can also have a good time with your mates,” he says.
“What we do a great job of is helping new players out, making them feel welcome and engaged, particularly if they haven’t played before.”
At least two of the men’s players have played over 250 games, and Anthony suspects that a couple have been playing for almost as long as the club has existed (it celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014). He is grateful for the volunteer support of long term players, newer players and friends of the club, who have helped MFC to operate for the past two decades.
“This club is one hundred per cent volunteer driven. Community clubs don’t exist without volunteers, and we’re incredibly grateful for our volunteers who help out with everything from game day to fundraising and working in the canteen to opening the gates before training,” Anthony says.
Molonglo Juggernauts Football Club fast facts
- Number of players: Around 100
- Home ground: Stirling Oval on Teesdale Street in Stirling (opposite the Weston Creek Labor Club)
- Club president: Anthony Cutting
- Major sponsors: MFC is always looking for new sponsors to support the club. Its current sponsors include Club Lime, Tuggeranong Chiropractic Centre, Fuji Xerox Document Management Solutions and Galent Management Consulting
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