Gosford women’s AFL player, Karina Berry, is excited to be back playing for her beloved Tigers, after missing the 2016 season for the birth of her baby daughter, Daisy.
The year 2016 was not the fi rst season of football Karina has missed, having sat out the majority of the 2014 season after badly injuring her knee. “It’s so great to be back on the fi eld this year, especially because I hadn’t had the chance to play in the Women’s BDAFL comp, as most did last year,” Ms Berry said.
“Being on the sideline for an entire season has given me another insight into the game, being able to watch and learn a lot more, so I feel I have a much better understanding of the game now and my game is a lot different,” she said. Playing football and raising a baby is new for Ms Berry, but she is enjoying the challenge, which is made easier by the fact that there are a number of other Gosford women players who are in a similar position. “I was always going to return to football after having Daisy, this wasn’t even something I thought twice about,” she said.
“So we have just got on with the football season this year as we have every other year, although, now we just have a lot more to pack into the car on game days. “It’s just a typical day at footy with all of our bubs and kids in and out of the change rooms and along the sideline. “Gosford is a very family oriented club and we have so much respect for all our women including those who are mothers. “Aussie Rules football really is for everyone,” Ms Berry said. Her husband, Simon Berry, is also actively involved with Gosford, being the coach of the Gosford Women’s team and a player.
“We love it, it’s so good to share this passion together and also to pass it on to Daisy,” Mr Berry said. After returning to football, Karina is still working her way to full fitness, which has seen her used in a variety of positions this year, but recently she has returned to her favourite midfield role. “I still have a long way to go with my strength, speed and agility, to get it where I’d like it, but I’m definitely on my way now and it’s a good feeling to be back on the ball,” Ms Berry said. Despite missing a year’s football, she was thrilled to be selected in the Women’s Representative team to play AFL Sydney. “I thoroughly enjoyed my BDAFL rep football experience this year and was very surprised (and thankful) that I was selected to be a part of the team.
“The competition standard is definitely on the rise each year, there’s no doubt about that. “I believe it has come such a long way in such a short time since its inception in 2015 and it’s incredible to think that the majority of the women playing have never played before. “I believe to allow for more growth and development in the region, the league should look at two divisions next year, to continue pushing all teams to the next level.” She said the Gosford women’s team has had a good year so far, but has loftier goals set for the end of the year. “Our girls are coming together with great form this season, even with the largest ever infl ux of new players that our team has ever seen.
“These new girls are taking the game in their stride, so keen to learn all the time and ensuring they are achieving their goals each week. “Our girls are hungry for the premiership after our displeasing exit from the finals series last season,” Ms Berry said. “The club has some great young talent coming through, in both the men’s and women’s sides, which gives the club good hope for success on and off the fi eld. “We may be a small club but we still have a lot of notable long serving members and loads of passionate new comers to continue the Tigers tradition for many years to come.”
Source: Newsletter, Jul 8 Garry Burkinshaw, Black Diamond AFL