The new kids on the scene in the Big Rivers Football League are off to a strong start, with the first Garrak Bombers womens team in years claiming victory at the weekend's annual Umpires Carnival.
The club - made up of players from Binjari, Rockhole and Kalano - defeated reigning premiers the Arnhem Crows in the final of the women's comp, which took place on Saturday at the Katherine showgrounds.
Barrak Bombers committee member and player, Will Bridgeman, said this was the first year in "quite a while" that the Bombers had a women's team in the Big Rivers Football League, and the first time in a few years the club played in the Umpires Carnival.
He said the win for the women was a great start to the season, which officially kicks off on April 23.
"Everyone's really excited. The women have put in a really good pre-season with good numbers down at training," Bridgeman said.
"I think the women will be in a strong place to play well early in the season now."
He also thanked a number of players from Eastside who helped make up numbers throughout the day on Saturday.
Eastside's men's team took out the men's competition, defeating Borroloola Thunder by just one point.
Bridgeman said a lot of hard work had gone on behind the scenes to get the club organised for the season, including upgrades to the club's home ground in Kalano Community, thanks to support from the Kalano Community Association, Jawoyn Association and the NT Government, as well as local sponsors Roy Boy's Concreting and Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre
"Last season we started hosting games for the first time in a long time, which was a challenge for our committee having just just kind of established and we needed a better plan for getting all our facilities ready," he said.
"Now we've actually got a shed for our players when we're hosting home games, and Kalano has done all of the work and significant work on the oval, watering it throughout last year getting ready for preseason and the games this year."
As for the men's team, Bridgeman said the Bombers are determined to make it into the finals this season.
"The men are looking to build towards finals. We missed out last year after a few COVID reschedulings and one game that we unfortunately forfeited," he said.
"What we want to see is people down there every week and that we're strong in our organisation and our participation and training and then hopefully get some results on the field."
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