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VFLW: Bullas bullish

Hayley Bullas is excited to wear the red and black with pride in Essendon's inaugural VFLW season.
Hayley Bullas is excited to wear the red and black with pride in Essendon's inaugural VFLW season.

“Win or lose this year, I can tell you that no one will be as proud or as disappointed as we will be.”

Hayley Bullas isn’t one to mince words when discussing the prospects of Essendon’s inaugural VFL Women’s side in 2018.

The forward/midfielder – who began her junior career at VWFL club Chirnside Park before playing for Diamond Creek in their final VFLW season last year – reveals that the Bombers have hit the pre-season training track with a fierce determination and pride that will carry into the home and away season.

“The vibe that we have as a team is something that I haven’t experienced in a long time,” Bullas said.

“We play for each other, we play for our club and we are proud to put on our colours and play as a team.

“I am always open to learning and playing multiple positions so that I can be a versatile player.”

“I put my trust in the coaches and coaching staff that they know my ability and will put me in a position that they see I will thrive in to get the most out of me for the team.”

When asked of her first impressions of VFLW coach Brendan Major, Bullas - the stepdaughter of former Richmond and Melbourne player Andy Goodwin – needs no invitation in singing her praises.

“Major is the most energetic and positive coach I have ever had,” she said.

“He knows the qualities and effort that he can get from each person in the team and pushes you to get the best out of everyone.

“In saying this, it makes him a very approachable person and he has earnt respect with the team by forming those relationships through his diligent but easy-going nature.”

The 21-year-old played six games in 2017 and featured in the best once for the team who would go on to finish runners-up.

She was signed to Essendon along with 11 other former Creekers including her sister Sammi.

“I couldn’t think of a better person to share footy experiences with,” Bullas said of her younger sister.

“We are hard on each other and push each other to the best of our ability, but regardless of age and good old sibling rivalry I am always learning from her and I hope I’ve taught her a thing or two also.”

The VFLW Bombers’ first competitive hit-out will be a practice match against foundation VFL Women’s side Melbourne Uni on March 31, with the venue still to be confirmed.