Williams leans on resources to better her footy

IRON sharpens iron, and training with the best is what has Tegan Williams upping her game heading into season 2022. The Bendigo Pioneers tall enjoyed a promising bottom-age campaign last year, making seven NAB League Girls outings and earning selection in the Vic Country Under 17 side.

Her performances at both levels lead to more representative honours, with Williams making the cut for Vic Country’s Under 18 squad this time around. Learning among the best Victoria’s regions have to offer, and with high level coaches, has helped the 17-year-old “better” her footy.

“I think Vic Country has helped a lot, it’s a really good experience to learn and develop as a player,” Williams said. Just to use the resources you have and all the coaches, I think it really has bettered my footy.

“Being around the girls and the coaches, it’s a really good group to be around and obviously it’s helped a lot in developing me as a player.”

Able to play at both ends of the ground, Williams cut her teeth in defence for the most part last year but now is poised to spend more time up forward. Her greatest strengths are obvious, outlined by the astute player and her coach – glowing in appraisal.

“(My strengths are) probably my contested marking and my longer distance kicks,” Williams said. “I feel like I’m going to go down forward a bit this year, give it a crack.”

“Tegan has an exceptional skill set,” Bendigo Pioneers coach Danny O’Bree said during preseason. “I think she can be suited in the key positions anywhere and we will give her an opportunity to play up forward this year.

“She’s a really good mark, she’s an excellent kick. If we can potentially get the footy to her more often this year, she could spend more of her life up forward. “But if we require her down back, we’re really comfortable playing in those positions as well.”

Williams and her Pioneers opened their NAB League Girls season on Saturday with a high-scoring loss at the hands of Murray Bushrangers. With a quick turnaround from preseason to season proper, and a young squad which promises to excite, Williams says her side can go far.

“It’s a lot quicker getting into it but it should be good,” she said. “Over Christmas and then straight into it, obviously it’ll be a lot hotter when the games are on but it’s good to get more footy in.

“I think we’ll go pretty well, we’re a pretty young side but there’s a lot of talent in there so it should be good.”

Bendigo’s second fixture for the year will open Round 2, as the Pioneers host Greater Western Victoria at Epsom Huntly Reserve on Saturday afternoon.

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