Essendon VFLW vice-captain Hayley Bullas says there is a lot to be proud of despite Saturday’s three-point loss to Casey at Windy Hill.
The Bombers led the Demons by 11 points at three-quarter time, but a late goal in the final term saw the visitors come away with a win.
“We played our brand of footy all the way through, which was really good. We brought exactly what we wanted – we were really hard at the contest, we were that first possession to the ball…and it was really exciting,” Bullas said post-game.
“I guess in the second and fourth quarter, we kind of lagged a little bit and were set back, but next week it’ll just be bringing our four quarters of footy.”
The Bombers brought the heat against the Demons on Saturday. (Image: Ben Johnstone)
The Bombers headlined a host of promising young faces who measured up against Casey’s AFLW-listed talent.
Bullas says the developing youngsters had no problem in rising to the occasion.
“Yes, we have a young side, but we really took it to them and stepped up. We’ve been working seven months for this and we really went out onto the ground and trusted the process,” she said.
“(Head coach Brendan) Major this year always talks about trusting the process and it was really awesome to see that through everyone.”
Bullas’ own progress has been integral to the Bombers’ midfield, while her display of tackling pressure was unmatched during Saturday’s game.
The reigning best and fairest winner was back at her impermeable best, finishing the day with 14 disposals and six tackles, but Bullas believes there is still room for improvement.
“I mean, there wasn’t as many tackles (as last year), because we had that first possession.
“I guess, there’s a lot to build on, I’ve come a long way from last season and I’ve developed a lot more, but there’s still so much more to develop overall as well, so that’s just the start,” she said.
Looking ahead to round two, Bullas says the team can show plenty of further improvement.
“We just need a little bit more belief throughout our four quarters, a little bit more of that belief could go a long way for us.
"Everybody else at the club is getting behind us, so I’m excited to see what next week is going to bring.
“Definitely bringing that pressure again, putting that pressure on, being the first to the footy, we want to cover off that outside and make sure we’re using their outside as well.
“You saw Ruby (Svarc) just kill it on the outside today because she held that and same with Isabel (Currenti), so if we can get it out to them, they can really use that speed to get it into our forward line, which is exciting.”
Essendon will be given a chance at redemption when they take on Geelong on Saturday, May 18 from 12pm at Central Reserve in Colac.
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.