THE Muswellbrook Cats have broken the mould.
For the first time in the organisation’s history, a woman will lead the Black Diamond AFL club in 2018.
And, long-time committee member Annette Garland is looking forward to the challenge.
“Being the inaugural female president [of the Cats] is an honour,” she said.
“I’ve been involved with them for eight years in various roles.
“So, to actually have the title is pretty special.
“I guess I’ve been doing most of the work for a while anyway,” she added with a laugh.
“But, I didn’t know much about AFL in the past.
“My kids are in the juniors – and I’ve met lots of people along the way.
“I love the Cats.
“They’re a great club.”
Joining Garland on the executive are vice-presidents Pat Morton and John White, treasurer Michael Duck, secretary Grant O’Leary, and junior coordinator Tracy Davis.
“It’s a massive committee in 2018, which will make a big difference,” she said.
“A lot of the players have really stepped up, too.
“Someone like Ducky [Michael Duck] has been fantastic over the years.
“We also have a strong female base around the club.
“That’s increased due to the formation of the women’s side, which entered the competition in 2017.”
Garland said everything was shaping up well for a successful season – on and off the field.
“We have some new major sponsors on board, including Muswellbrook Hotel, Hollydene Estate and Newcastle Hi-Tensile Bolt Co,” she told the Chronicle.
“As well, the club’s welcomed up to 15 newcomers, which is exciting.
“We’re getting great numbers at training, too.
“Everyone’s keen as mustard.
“It’s a good opportunity [to surge forward], especially with some young fresh faces on deck.
“I believe we’ll definitely be in contention in the Black Diamond Plate.
“It would also be nice to see the women get a few wins.
“They did an admirable job in their maiden year.”
The Cats will host their annual gala day, the Invitational Cup, at Weeraman Fields on March 17.
“It’s usually a big event for us,” Garland said.
“The women’s side will be playing, too.”