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VFLW: Three more Tigers

VFLW ADF signings Richmond VFLW has signed three Australian Defence Force footballers, Kirra Grimes, Trish Muller and Alice Edmonds for the 2018 season.

The spirit of Anzac Day is particularly special for the VFLW Tigers’ newest recruits Kirra Grimes, Alice Edmonds and Trish Muller.

The trio all currently serve in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and feel honoured to have the opportunity to play on Anzac Day Eve, when Richmond VFLW takes on the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Women’s All Stars team in a curtain-raiser match at the Swinburne Centre, Punt Road Oval.

The match starts at 3:10pm, with an Anzac service on the field at 3pm, and is free for fans to attend, to show support to Richmond’s new VFLW team, as well as the ADF team featuring current serving members of the Australian Defence Force.

Fans can then head over to the MCG to watch Richmond take on Melbourne in the annual Anzac Day Eve blockbuster.

Grimes, a ruck/forward, has a background in track and field and has been playing football for 12 months.

“After playing at the Victorian Koori Carnival that was held here at Punt Road in November, I got an invite from (Richmond’s AFLW Football Operations Manager) Kate Sheahan and the team to come down to the try outs in Bendigo,” Grimes said.

“I flew all the way from Brisbane and luckily got asked to be listed. I was able to move down here and move my family down and start with the Richmond Football Club.”

At just 20 years old, Edmonds is also relatively new to the sport.

“Because I was always a basketballer and a rower, I was looking for something different,” Edmonds, a ruck, said.

“About three years ago I jumped on the bandwagon.

“I was up in Townsville last year when I got a message from Kate (Sheahan) saying could I come down to a training, so I thought why not.

“So I came down on a Wednesday, hit the track, then got a call from (Richmond VFLW coach) Tommy Hunter two days later asking if I wanted to be a part of the squad. Obviously I was thrilled, I couldn’t really believe it.”
Muller’s journey to Punt Road is slightly different, the tenacious midfielder has been playing football for 10 years.

“I’ve only been in the Richmond program for a few weeks now,” Muller said.

“I was posted up in Darwin and one of my good friends Rhi Metcalfe, who plays for the Crows and we’ve played navy footy together before, it just so happened that the Defence National Carnival was held at Richmond and she got in the ear of Kate (Sheahan) and that’s how I ended up here.”

The Defence Force encourages the men and women from the Army, Navy and Airforce to participate in their football league, the ADFAR, and are provided opportunities throughout the year to play the great game of Australian Rules, while also serving for our country.

Listed in the ADF’s team are AFLW players and Brisbane Lions utility, Kate Ludkins, a Lance Corporal in the Australian Army and Adelaide Crows premiership ruck, and Leading Seaman in the Navy, Metcalfe.

ADF All Stars’ Coach, Lieutenant Colonel Dani Glatz said Anzac Day is the most important day on the calendar for ADF personnel.

“For us, Anzac Day represents the most important thing about our service – mateship,” she said.

“For the last eight years, serving ADF women have been able to display the power of mateship when they take to the football field as a team with the goal of winning the Anzac Challenge.”

“The ADF Women’s team take inspiration from the Anzac legacy - of which they are the custodians of, and you can expect this team, like all those before them, will fight hard for their mates.

“We’re very excited to face the Richmond VFLW squad in their inaugural year and are looking forward to a great contest.”

This game marks the third practice match for Richmond’s VFLW team in preparation for their season commencing in early May.

Sheahan said the game was a special occasion for the entire football club to be involved in.

“This game is great preparation for our players, but also a significant event to pay our respect to the fantastic women that serve in the Australian Defence Force, and help to protect our country,” she said.

Following the game, the ADF team will head over to the MCG to watch the match between Richmond and Melbourne which honours the current serving members of the Australian Defence Force.

Richmond VFLW v ADF Women’s All Stars
Tuesday, April 24
Swinburne Centre, Punt Road Oval
3:10pm (Gates open at 2:30pm)