Less than a month out from the 2023 NAB AFLW season, the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos hopped into Hobart for their annual Community Camp.
The full squad spent the weekend immersed in the local community, including teaching those new to Australia about our game, attending several Southern Tasmanian Junior Football League (STJFL) matches and running a clinic for 97 girls aged six to 12 years old at Clarence High School Oval.
The Kangaroos’ newly appointed co-vice captain and hometown hero Nicole Bresnehan said the squad was proud to support the growth and development of women’s football in the state.
“We’re really excited to be back in Tassie,” Bresnehan told The Mercury at a ‘Welcome to AFL’ event on Friday afternoon for members of the Migrant Resource Centre.
“Not having their own team here in Tassie at the moment, the presence of North Melbourne is super important, especially in the women’s space.
“We’ve seen the growth of girls’ teams and youth footy in Tasmania and every time I come back, I see more girls playing at that junior level.
“That’s really exciting and I feel we play an important part in that.”
Bresnehan’s sentiment was echoed by Launceston-born teammate Mia King.
“We love coming down to Tassie and getting involved in the community,” she said following the clinic on Saturday morning.
“It was really awesome to see how many girls there were at the clinic. I know that all of us North girls love seeing the next generation coming through.
“If we can continue to see those numbers and that support at grassroots level, it’s going to be really exciting for the future of AFLW.”
The squad also participated in a match simulation with a handful of players from the Southern Football League’s women’s competition (SFLW) at Blundstone Arena on Saturday afternoon, before heading back there on Sunday to support the club’s AFL side and the Auskickers at half-time.
Captain Emma Kearney said the intraclub would put the Kangaroos in good stead ahead of their return to Hobart for the season-opener against St Kilda on September 3.
“It was a nice little hitout and good preparation for Round 1. We love playing down here and we are starting to get a feel of the oval and how to play on it,” she said.
“We’re really excited going into this season. We’ve got a bit of a point to prove after we were so close to making that Grand Final and we’ll be trying to push deep into finals again.
“Hopefully we can do that but Round 1 is not too far away, and that’s our first task and we can’t wait.”