PERTH Angels Football Club tackled an intense training session at the MMA 24/7 gym in Belmont.
In the first of a series of planned training sessions the Angels were shown tackling techniques to help improve their performance on the field.
Twenty-one-year-old Caitlin Tilsed has been with the club since it began seven years ago.
The Carlisle resident said many new girls on the team were nervous about tackling on the field.
“The wrestling session helped them learn the weight of an impact and to not be afraid of tackling an opponent,” she said.
She said people used to seeing men’s AFL games were surprised by how rough the women’s teams played.
“I think it’s rougher, as girls we go all in with no regard to anything but getting that ball.”
Tilsed said the West Australian Women’s Football League had grown since the sport turned professional.
“What I’d love to see is more amateur clubs, feeding into WAFL and then onto AFL, so women can play both at amateur and professional level,” she said.
Tilsed balances studying a PhD in biomedical research at UWA with two training sessions a week and the weekend game, plus private gym sessions.
“It’s been tough to balance everything, especially this year,” she said.
She played netball until turning 15, deciding if her brother could play AFL then so could she.
Her dad found her a local club and the pair bond over their love of football.
“He comes to every game I play and is always giving me hints and tips afterwards,” she said.
Tilsed said in her generation, girls would reach 13 and be told they had to leave their clubs because there was nothing for them and they could not play with the boys.
“In 10 years time I hope we have girls starting at three to four years and going all the way to the draft,” she said.
The Angels train twice a week at Peel Park in Belmont and have a senior league (18+) and youth (15-17) team.