THE Queen Elizabeth Oval will host a state league double-header on Sunday as the Bendigo Pioneers and Richmond’s VFL Women’s team each host matches at the ground.
The Pioneers return to action after being narrowly beaten by the Western Jets a fortnight ago, while Richmond is coming off a thumping win over Essendon.
Richmond plays the North Melbourne-aligned Melbourne University while the Pioneers face Murray Bushrangers.
Richmond has previously held training sessions in Bendigo and has a connection to the area through its AFL Next Generation Academy zone.
The Tigers also have several former Bendigo Thunder players among their ranks, including captain Jess Kennedy, ruck Jac Louttit, midfielder Emily Findlay and forward Elise Hogan.
Hard-running defender Jacqui Graham and Pheobe Monahan have also been in strong form for the Tigers.
Kennedy said the team is looking forward to showcasing the VFLW in Bendigo.
“It’ll be great to get back to Bendigo and play at what I think is the best ground in country Victoria,” she said.
“Many of the girls come from, or have played a lot of footy in the region, so it’s a great opportunity to play in front of family and friends.”
Both the Tigers and Melbourne Uni have stacks of AFLW talent, including 2018 league best and fairest Emma Kearney.
The Tigers’ list boasts the likes of Collingwood trio Emma King, Lauren Tesoreiro and Amelia Barden while Kearney is joined by the Western Bulldogs premiership star Monique Conti and North Melbourne recruits Ash Riddell and Kate Gillespie-Jones.
Kennedy is hopeful the Tigers can continue their recent winning form come Sunday.
“Melbourne Uni will be tough, they have come up against quality teams early in the year, so their ladder position is definitely not indicative of the quality of players on their list,” she said.
“From our end, it was awesome to play well and get the result against Essendon in Dreamtime game, but we’ll be looking to be better again.”
The Pioneers’ match kicks proceedings off at 12pm, with the VFL Women’s game from 2.30pm.