11 March, 2024

Roosters ladies back for glory

AFTER a fierce competition last season, the Atherton Senior Roosters women’s team is back and determined  to go one better than they did last year.

Nightingale Real Estate Senior Roosters ladies players Mayleen Oppermann, Lexeen Mathieson and Carrie Reynolds are gearing up for 2024.
Nightingale Real Estate Senior Roosters ladies players Mayleen Oppermann, Lexeen Mathieson and Carrie Reynolds are gearing up for 2024.

With high numbers and a high calibre of players, coach Paul Stephens is confident the team can go all the way in 2024.  

With their first game being against powerhouse team Kangaroos, he is curious to see where the new team sits.

“We have most of the girls from last season still ... and we have a handful of new ones, including a couple of Mareeba girls joining us this year,” he said. 

“Most of the (new) girls have now become old enough to play, as they were in the under 17s and have moved up.”

This year, spectators are keeping an eye on up-and-comer Anastasia Dempsey, who has transitioned into the open women’s team after a successful season with the under 17s. 

Since making it to the grand final last year, Dempsey has been working hard throughout training before her first game as an open and lady, which Stephens said will pay off throughout the season. 

“I have watched her play for a number of years now, she’s the same age as my daughter, and I know that she is just raw talent,” he said. 

“I think in the right team, she will excel at her play. She is very athletic … and she has just finished school and looking at staying the area.

“She is not an old time player or anything like that, but I think with her in our team, she will really show up.”

The team moral is high among all the team, with some of the highest training numbers the Roosters have ever seen for a women’s team. 

“We started training five to six weeks ago and the numbers have been so good, and we are doing some fairly hard fitness work, and they just keep turning up,” Stephens said. 

“We had a lot of training in the pouring rain, and they keep showing up. It has been good to see their attitudes change and how keen they are.”

The new goal this year is to make it to the grand finals according to Stephens, after missing their shot during the semi finals last year. 

He said with hardwork and dedication, he is confident they will make it to the top of the ladder again for 2024. 

“We made a goal last year to get into the semis, and to get in the top three on the ladder, and we did, so this year we hope to make it to second on the ladder and get to the finals,” he said. 

“We don’t want to make our goals too unbelievable, everyone wants to win, but hopefully we will improve from last year and work more on our defensive pattern and that will put us in a good position to win more games.”

The Roosters senior ladies will go up against the Kangaroos at Vico Oval in Cairns on Sunday.


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