It was a team that began from humble beginnings. Less than two years later, they won footy's greatest prize: a premiership.
Last September, Wollongong Bulldogs claimed the AFL South Coast Women's Premier Division title with a one-point win over Bomaderry. It was just their second season in the division.
"It was amazing for the girls," Bulldogs coach Peter Anstice said.
"We only had three or four girls in the team who had played footy before when we started two years ago. It was incredible reward for all of the hard work they put in on the training track, not only learning skills but the understanding of the game that takes people years."
Now, the Bulldogs are preparing for their next big challenge: defending a premiership. It hasn't been an easy off season. The side has lost a few players - including Natasha Staude and Emma Parker - while wet weather has wreaked havoc for their pre-season schedule.
However, Anstice remains upbeat about his team's prospects in 2020.
"We've got a couple of likely new recruits from around the state who look promising. There's nothing official, but a few girls have come up to uni from the Riverina area that are looking to play with us," Anstice said.
The coach understands other teams will "be coming for us" this season. However, he believes the return of the Wollongong Saints in the AFL South Coast competition will take some pressure off his reigning premiers.
"I think everyone will look to them as the benchmark this year," Anstice said.
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