Bathurst Giants and Lady Bushrangers are excited ahead of first women's rules derby

HISTORY will be made at George Park 2 on Saturday afternoon when the ground hosts the first all-Bathurst women’s Central West AFL clash between the Giants and Lady Bushrangers.

NEW COMPETITION: The Bathurst Lady Bushrangers have enjoyed remarkable success since entering the CWAFL, but this Saturday face a new challenge. They will do battle with the Bathurst Giants for the first time. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

NEW COMPETITION: The Bathurst Lady Bushrangers have enjoyed remarkable success since entering the CWAFL, but this Saturday face a new challenge. They will do battle with the Bathurst Giants for the first time. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

While the Lady Bushrangers have been part of the women’s league since its formation in 2015, this season marks the first time Bathurst Giants has fielded a team in this competition.

The newcomers have made an impressive start, going undefeated through three rounds to be the competition leaders heading into Saturday’s contest.

It is something which has the Lady Bushrangers – the three-times defending premiers – eagerly anticipating the clash.

“As a team we’re really excited about facing the Giants. It’s great to see the women’s game growing in the Central West and the more competition, the better for the league,” Bushangers captain Kelsey Richards said.

“It’s evident that the Giants have a strong outfit with some convincing wins to begin their season, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.

“Our field is now ready to play on which means we’ve been able to do more match simulation and full field drills at training, which has been great.”

Bushrangers coach Peter Neve echoed the thoughts of his captain, and feels it will be a good showcase for the growing women’s sport.

“The Giants have started the season well and it's going to be a great game. It will be interesting to see how the teams are situated once all teams have played each other, a new team adds an unknown into the mix,” he said. 

“The level of participation and competition in the women’s game is fantastic to see. They may be new to the game, but the ladies definitely embrace AFL with exuberance and a willingness to learn.”

On the flip-side, Giants coach Liz Kennedy knows the derby will be the toughest test her side has faced thus far.

“It will really give us an indication of where we need to be. We’ve played three other teams, but with Bushrangers being the absolute benchmark of the competition – I’m really looking forward to it to see where we actually sit,” she said.

Opening bounce is at 12.45pm.