ACE on learning curve
New season, new challenge for one of ACE's most successful squads
THE age groups have gone. Pre-season is finished. Now open competition and a steep learning curve await one of ACE’s most successful teams.
Holland Park are the first opponents for the new ACE City 1 women’s squad, on Friday at Brendale, kick-off 7.50pm.
All but four are from the girls’ squad which finished second in last season’s Under 16 Division 1 and won the grand final. The team has taken a big step up, but the signs are encouraging.
ACE, with two new players in their 20s and one aged 18, have beaten Annerley 4-1, lost to Pine Rivers 4-2 and drawn 4-4 with The Gap’s BWPL Reserves side in pre-season.
“It is going to be a big leap, a learning curve for the young players,” said coach Matt van Daalen. “It will be a lot more physical and faster for them - 16s playing against 25 year olds.
“So far so good though. I thought we played really well in the first pre-season game and against Pine Rivers. The players started to understand it would be a lot more physical.
“I’m trying to teach them how read the game a bit faster. I’m not worried about the physicality, it’s more reading the game, where the opposition are going to play the ball and how can we counter it.”
ACE will be looking to use the momentum from the last four years as a springboard in to a new level of competition. Their roll of honour reads:
2016: 2nd and Grand Final winners U16 Division 1
2015: 2nd and Runners up in Grand Final U15 Division 1
2014: Premiers and Grand Final winners U14 Division 1
2013: Premiers U13 Division 1
“I would like to think we can finish mid-table,” said Matt van Daalen, “hopefully the girls will learn from the women they are playing against and take that on board for next season.
"It's another big step up for them, but I'm not worried about results at the moment, just ensuring they are happy and progressing for years to come."
In City 1 this season ACE willl face Capalaba, Easts, Holland Park, Narangba, Park Ridge, Logan, UQ, Ipswich and Mitchleton.
Pictured: Back row from left: Matt van Daalen (coach), Lavinia McWha, Kathleen Chell, Kloè Jackson, Kaitlin Gribble, Isabel Howkee, Natasha Simpson, Ellie Malcolm, Georgia Schuh, Jess Amis
Front row from left: Brooke Dutton, Aysia Griffith, Lorette Griessel, Renee Andrea, Gemma Marning, Lauren McHenery, Olivia Owens, Kayla Jameson.
Picture: Josie Jameson (manager)