Topics:  aussie rules, caboolture lions, monique lepri

Former Lions club star back to help build first women's team

Monique Lepri lays a tackle on a Logan player while playing for Kedron. Photo Contributed
Monique Lepri lays a tackle on a Logan player while playing for Kedron. Photo Contributed Contributed

A FORMER club star is coming home to help the Caboolture Lions build their first ever women's Aussie Rules team.

Monique Lepri played six years of junior footy at Caboolture before moving to Zillmere and representing the Brisbane North region and the state.

She had a year off last season with an ankle injury but she's back to assistant coach the women's side and is hungry to lay the foundation for a successful club.

"I think this year we just want to promote it and get some girls involved and have a little fun," she said.

"Next season we'll be looking towards finals and aiming a little higher."

Lepri has a decorated Aussie Rules career and at just 23 has plenty more opportunities in front of

her.

She started at the Lions in under-8s, mixing it with the boys until she moved to the Zillmere Eagles when she was 14.

Even then she played in a male competition for a year.

When she turned 15 Lepri made the jump to the club's women's state league side, switched from full-back to full-forward and promptly took out the league's leading goal-kicker two years in a row.

Throw in a representative best and fairest award and a trip to Melbourne to represent Queensland on the MCG and it's easy to see next year's Lions team will be in good hands.

Andrew Roots got together with Lions president Peter Smith to start the team and will be teaming up with Lepri to guide the fledgling side.

Caboolture will play host to an under-15s and under-18s women's side to help bridge the gap between juniors and seniors.

"It's usually that one year gap where people think 'I might just try something else' or they just don't play anymore," Lepri said.

She said the invitation was open to anyone 14 years and up with even a passing interest in the code.

"If they come down and try it hopefully they'll enjoy it as much as I do," Lepri said. "I think the biggest thing is (new players) get a little bit scared of the

contact.

"But I've been playing for 16 years and I've never had a severe injury or been hurt."

Caboolture will be the northernmost club in the Brisbane region so Lepri is hoping it will attract girls from the Sunshine Coast as well.

She said the club's family-oriented culture would also attract players.

Coach and women's co-ordinator Andrew Roots said it was good to have Lepri on board because of her experience.

Preseason training starts on Tuesday, January 15 from 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Lions will have the use of the state-of-the-art new complex at Burpengary from the middle of next year.

Phone Andrew on 0416918753 for more information or to sign up to play.



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