Essendon VFLW vice-captain Simone Nalder says teamwork and clear communication are what motivated Saturday’s 39-point victory against Williamstown.
The Bombers led at every break, recording back-to-back wins for the first time in one of their most complete performances of the year.
“I thought it was a really hard-fought game. We had a really strong first half,” Nalder said.
“Coming into the third quarter, they really stuck it to us, but I was really happy to see that the girls stepped up to that. We kept trying to work together.
“A big positive from today’s game is that we showed that the three lines can connect, and that really helped us to get over the line at the end of the game."
Nalder was more than impressed with the team’s performance, admitting she was excited by the development of the playing group.
After winning just one game in their inaugural VFL season in 2018, the Bombers have saluted four times this season, with another four games still to play.
“Reflecting back to last year, and throughout this season, the development has just been exceptional.
“It’s a super-competitive environment at training, but I think that’s helping to lift the quality of our play.
“I think something that really stood out was that connection between the lines, so that’s something we’ve really been working on."
Nalder was appointed acting skipper after Courtney Ugle (broken leg) and Hayley Bullas (knee) were ruled out for the rest of the season.
The 29-year-old said she “loves being part of the leadership group” and lauded the support of her teammates.
“It’s been really impressive to see that despite Ugle and Bullas both being out injured, they've still played an integral role in leading the group,” Nalder said.
“I suppose for me, things haven’t changed much, I just keep going about my usual leadership style.
“I’m more of a reserved personality, so it’s good that we’ve got other girls in the group like Shae Audley, Kirby Hicks and Kendra Heil who are adding a lot of voice to the group as well."
Nalder has stepped up in the absence of several leaders. (Photo: Ben Johnstone)
Nalder impacted the game and led by example, sparking the Bombers into action against Williamstown with a true captain’s performance.
The ever-reliable ruck finished the day with 38 hitouts, 16 disposals and three marks, but was humble in reflection.
“I think it comes back to the group around me. The mids have been working on that connection between me tapping the ball down and that talk from the girls,” she said.
“There was also heaps of communication today from the backline, which helps me to feel confident and feel like I can help out”.
Essendon will look to continue its winning streak when it takes on the Southern Saints at Windy Hill from 11:30am on Saturday.
“I think it’s about brining what we did today to the four quarters, and just continuing to build,” Nalder said.
“It’s really exciting to see what the group will be able to bring against a tough opposition in the Saints this week."
The match will be streamed live on the VFL website.
Victoria Raptis is in the final year of her Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) degree at RMIT University. As part of their strategic partnership, Essendon Football Club and RMIT University are committed to providing opportunities for students, staff, players and the wider community.