By Mathew Asciak

The Coburg Football Club is excited to announce that three more members of the inaugural 2021 women’s team have re-committed to the Lions, with defensive trio Danni-Jane Umaki, Dacia Abela and Amy Mitchener confirming they are staying at Piranha Park for the 2022 season. 

After succumbing to a shoulder injury in pre-season, Umaki had to wait until round 8 of the season to make her Lions debut.  She has put a power of work across the season to improve as a player, and that has not gone unnoticed by senior coach, Liam Cavanagh.

“Deej’s growth over last season was incredible,” Cavanagh said.

“She came to us a quite a raw footballer but with plenty of athletic ability.”

“She’s worked her way to the position she is in now where she’s a genuine footballing talent.”

Affectionately known as “Deej” to her teammates and coaches, Umaki is excited to continue her journey at Coburg. 

“The support and culture [at Coburg] are definitely the main factors to committing to the club,” Umaki explained. 

“Everyone within the club wants you to do your best and offers a lot of opportunities with footy and within the community.”

Dacia Abela will be looking to continue her form following her great debut season at Coburg, which was capped off with a Best and Fairest, the first ever for in the Coburg women’s program. 

“I’ll continue to work hard and be a reliable and consistent defender,” Abela said. 

The individual honours will not alleviate her desire to improve on her game and grow as a leader, saying she will “continue to learn and grow throughout the year and be a positive role model for the younger members of the team”.

Head coach Liam Cavanagh emphasised what Abela offers to her teammates and highlights her importance to the defensive game plan being implemented. 

“Taking out our Best and Fairest in our inaugural year speaks volumes about the character, person and player she is,” Cavanagh said.

“To continue to have such a key pillar of our entire team is fantastic.”

Amy Mitchener will reassume her backline duties alongside Umaki and Abela, looking to build on the impressive opening season. 

Mitchener cited the playing group and the culture that been developed as the primary factors for playing on in 2022. 

Mitchener played all 10 games last season and managed to record a goal in our round 4 victory against Mornington. 

“The group of girls we have and the culture we created last season, welcoming with open arms and support we received from the club,” Mitchener said. 

“The cancelled season also left me feeling like we have unfinished business and has ignited a new fire inside me in leading, uniting and leaving a legacy.”

Coach Liam Cavanagh praised Mitchener’s ability to ensure the backline is functioning to execute the game plan and nullify the opposing forwards. 

“Amy is very much directing traffic and that is a very valuable skill,” Cavanagh explained.  

“As far what fans can expect… they [Amy and Dacia] both want to improve significantly which is a testament to their attitude and a testament to how driven they are to be successful.”

Stay tuned for more player re-signings by following the Coburg Football Club’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.