Bec Goddard is a strong advocate for the women’s State of Origin game.
Despite her Allies going down by 97-points to the Vics on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium and her side suffering crippling injury blows in the third quarter, Goddard’s passion for the game remaining a permanent fixture is resilient.
"The Vics have brought their Big V back and we’re commencing something special ourselves in our separate states to be the best and to play the best so that’s the way we’d like to see it. The fixturing of it might change in years going ahead but I certainly hope the game stays and the girls that are playing in it tonight go down as the starters of that Allies side."
It was only twelve months ago that a similar style match was played in the AFL pre-finals bye week between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs, at Whitten Oval before the inaugural AFLW Season was played.
This game was touted as a preview and showcase of what women can do on the footy field. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we would frame women’s football in this way, as an ‘exhibition’, but Goddard believes we are well beyond that terminology and the women’s game has proved itself as a strong competition in its own right.
"I reckon we’re past that now. I think to use the word ‘exhibition’ for tonight’s match isn’t the right term. We’ve been approaching it as the commencement of a dynasty in Allies camp this week"
While her side may not have started that dynasty as they would have wanted to, there will be plenty to play for in the future as the Allies will look to rectify their performance against the Vics next time and this is how great rivalries begin and empires are built. On competition, thirst for success, getting one back and building on failure.
Though failure isn’t something Goddard is used to. The 2017 Premiership winning coach is signed on for a second season to take the Adelaide Crowds forward again in 2018 so with that in mind, was she looking at some of her Allies from other sides with a bit of a competitive edge looking forward to AFLW2? The ever-classy coach smiled at the question but, in the style we’ve come to love from her, she answered with an honesty and cadence that made you wish she was your coach, even if you didn’t play sport.
"I said to the girls at the start of camp this week, ‘I’m not hiding anything about myself this week, the IP you’re getting is nothing that is different to the way I would normally coach, you’re seeing all of me and I hope in turn I get to see all of you’. And I’ve certainly learnt a lot already from some of those girls and the leaders within that group this week."
Looking forward to AFLW2 however is still on the coach’s mind as taking out the first ever AFLW Premiership sets a high bar for the Crow’s second season.
"Well you’ve got to continue on in that form don’t you? You’re only ever as good as your last game, as the saying goes in footy, so you’ve got to look at that one thing. The single most thing that you think built your success and then you’ve got to build your house on it.
So for me, we’ve created an amazing culture and now we’re going to build the house on that culture and see where it takes us."
(PHOTO: Michael Wilson/AFL Photos)