Victorian Metropolitan Superules Australian Football League
Saturday 9 July 2022
Darebin Falcons def Northside Lions
The Darebin Falcons were presented with The Arnell Cup by Brenda ‘Junior’ Arnell, winning their match against the Northside Lions in the Vic Metro Masters Football League on Saturday 9 July.
The Arnells have been part of both the Darebin and Northside Lions family, and both played for the Lions the last time the two sides met back in 2019. The story goes that Lauren played for the Falcons VFLW team in the morning, then changed to Northside Lion colours for their matchup against the Over 35’s Darebin team, and then raced off to the MCG for her broadcasting role with ABC Radio for the men’s footy.
The Arnell Cup celebrates Brenda and Lauren Arnell, and their contributions to women’s footy, including advocacy, inspiration and support for women to play footy.
Lauren Arnell is a life member of the club, recognised for her outstanding contribution and dedication to the Falcons, playing as a Falcon from her first season in 2006 in the VWFL. She captained Carlton in their inaugural AFLW season in 2017, and is Port Adelaide’s inaugural AFLW coach in 2022. She has worked on and off field with the AFLW competition that has sensationally motivated more players to take up footy, with record numbers at junior levels.
Attending an AFLW match to support her daughter, Brenda Arnell met Jill Chalmers, the Over 35’s Competition Director. Jill was handing out flyers for a new women’s masters competition and recruited Brenda on the spot. Brenda was part of an historic first ever season for the women’s Over 35’s competition with 6 teams in 2018. Generous with her time and her own story, Brenda worked with the competition leaders to bring awareness of the pathway for football for older players. This was a competition to include a generation of women who were not given a chance to play footy, who never had the opportunity to do much more than kick to kick in the park.
Brenda Arnell inspired many by sharing her story in the footy community and Australian media. Brenda was naturally given the name “Junior” by her team mates for coming to the game as an older rookie. She played the 2018 and 2019 seasons before COVID hit, but now lives interstate. Her footy career has exemplified the spirit of the Over 35’s footy as a welcoming and respectful competition for all ages.
On Saturday, Brenda returned to Werribee Football Club, back where she had played her first Women’s Masters match. She presented the Arnell Cup to Darebin Captain, Carley Allen. In her first game of the 2022 season, Sarah Hammond was awarded the ‘Loz Medal’ for the Falcons’ best on ground for the team by the Northside Lions Coach Katie Annetta. Falcons Coach Louise Potter presented Charlotte Beresford the ‘Junior Medal’ as best on ground for the Northside Lions.
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