Trafalgar Victory FC has been a long term supporter and advocate for women’s football in the Latrobe Valley. The club was one of the inaugural representatives in the then Gippsland Soccer League’s (GSL’s) Senior Women’s Competition. TVFC also answered the call for a Girls Only junior team when the idea was first proposed some three years ago.
In fact, Trafalgar Victory FC has answered every call to support female football in the region over many years now. At the completion of the 2016 season the LVSL stated it would field Under 12s, 14s and 16s for both boys and girls, subject to player numbers. Accordingly, club’s promoted the three stated age groups for both boys and girls across the pre-season period.
As a result of strong player numbers in the proposed Girls Under 16 competition and considerable enthusiasm from the girls, then coach Warren Steen ran a TVFC pre-season program for the Under 16 Girls that had up to 16 participants at one stage. The girls trained longer and harder than most senior aged teams and were fully prepared for the season ahead.
Unfortunately it was the league, not the club that put an end to the Under 16 Girls Only team for season 2017. With only 2 other teams able to field an Under 16 Girls Only team the LVSL had little choice but to dismiss the Under 16 Girls Only division for this season. This decision was opposed by TVFC and other LVSL clubs. However, the simple fact was that without sufficient teams a viable competition wasn’t sustainable.
Once the Under 16 Girls Only division was removed from the 2017 fixture, TVFC had to investigate other means of keeping its 15 and 16 year old girls playing the world game. As a club numerous options were considered, including the following:
- Promote the 15 & 16 year olds into the TVFC Senior Women’s team. Unfortunately, TVFC had already registered in excess of 20 senior female players for the women’s team. So this option was not available.
- Have the 15 & 16 year olds play in the Under 16 Boys competition. Again, the Under 16 Boys team had a squad of 16 players with a further 5 already wanting to join the team. This option was not chosen.
- Seek permission for the 15 & 16 year olds to play in the Under 14 Boys team. This option does little to promote girls in football and the majority of the girls weren’t keen to play in this competition.
- Seek permission from the league for the 15 year old girls to play in the Under 14 Girls Only team. This option was acted upon and to date three 15 year old girls are currently playing in the Under 14 Girls competition.
- Encourage our 16 year old girls to join a neighbouring club in order to play football in 2017. As hard as this option was, TVFC negotiated an arrangement whereby our 16 year old girls could play at Moe United SC. It is hoped that the girls will return to play at TVFC in 2107.
As can be seen, Trafalgar Victory FC is fully supportive of females in football. As a club we have done all we can to promote girls and women in football and we will continue to do so. From the perspective of an outside observer it could appear that the club has not provided sufficient support for its older junior girls. However, the truth is that TVFC has done all it can to provide a pathway for every girl and women wishing to play football. Even if this means encouraging them to play at a neighbouring club for a “one off” season.