The Murray Bushrangers will have the guidance of a former AFLW star this season.
Emma Mackie has joined the NAB League Girls program as the Bushrangers' assistant coach following her playing career with Western Bulldogs and St Kilda.
While the girls football pathway didn't exist for Mackie growing up, she hopes she can inspire them to see that their AFLW dreams can become a reality.
"It's great to be able to come back and get involved with the girls and inspire them to realise that they are in a pathway where they can go on to be drafted to an AFL women's club," Mackie said.
"It's been a really good step for me to experience coaching at this level in a program that's really helping the girls become better people.
"I've been loving getting to know the girls and sharing my experiences with them."
The Bushrangers have also welcomed Claire Cartwright on board as an assistant coach, with Mark Brown and Mario De Santa-ana remaining in their roles.
Cartwright made history when she joined Wodonga Saints coaching staff to become the region's first female coach.
"Mario and the boys do an amazing job, but I think just having that female presence there adds a different flavour to it," Mackie said.
"The girls are all keen to learn."
ALSO IN SPORT:
Round one of the NAB League Girls competition gets under way this weekend, with the Bushrangers under-19s and Futures taking on Bendigo Pioneers at Yarrawonga's J.C Lowe Oval.
Victorian Country squad members Keeley Skepper and Madison Gray have been appointed co-captains this season.
There's set to be 15 Future debutants, while 10 players will get their opportunity to play at NAB elite level today.
The Futures start at 11am, with the under-19s to follow at 1pm.
Under-19s team: B: Alexandra Jackson, Kloe Mcelhinney, Payten Johnston; HB: Madison Gray, Kaylea Kobzan, Cassidy Mailer; C: Bella Browne, Zarlie Goldsworthy, Tamika Rourke; HF: Olivia Cicolini, Destiny Dodd, Tayissa Gray; F: Natasha Wilson, Mindy Quade, India Lehman; R: Samantha Peppler, Keeley Skepper, Zara Hamilton, Int: Paige Duffy, Ava Loghnan, Emma Suckling, Asha Foubister.
Futures team: B: Frances Atkinson, Rhi Hetherington; HB: Taylah Power, Atong Dang, Isabella Klein; C: Kayla Davidson, Madison Ibrahim, Jayme Powell; HF: Imogen Putt, Georgie Thomas, Mia Johnston; F: Blaze Seymour, Yasmine Budic; R: Lucy Dawe, Olivia McGie, Bella Fielder; Sienna Koop, Hannah Loughnan, Chantelle Doughty.
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