The South Burnett women's open rugby league team.
The South Burnett women's open rugby league team. Claudia Williams

More than a footy team

RUGBY LEAGUE: Keisha Casters has been a part of the South Burnett rugby league under-14, U16 and U18 women's teams and this year she will play in the Sunshine Coast competition as part of the South Burnett's first open women's side.

For Keisha it is an exciting time to be involved and the team is more than just a group of girls who play footy.

"We are more than a team, we are like a family and we come together and that is the good part about it,” she said.

She plays in the front row and enjoys the role she can play for the team and the support she can give the girls from the position.

"It is one of the main positions and you are always in everything and it is about being around everyone and being involved,” Keisha said.

Keisha admits the prospect of joining a rugby league side may seem intimidating but once out on the field alongside team mates everyone supports one another.

"It is not something to be scared about. You don't get hurt unless you think about it and you have the girls to support you and they are there for that,” she said.

"It is not a big female sport but you get involved and you grow friends from it and grow a team together and it becomes a stronger bond and it is a good thing to do in the afternoons.”

The inaugural open team creates new opportunities for women in the region.

"It is different this year with a few new older girls, it is not what we are used to, and it keeps us going in the long run,” Keisha said.

"I am turning 18 at the end of the year and now that we have an open team I can keep playing for longer.”

Coach of the side Steve Sheather was instrumental in starting the team and is excited for their potential.

"It is going to be great women's league because they can keep going and the junior players can look up to something whereas before it just stayed at the junior level and that is as far as it went,” he said.

"Hopefully it will continue on over the next couple of years and we can get more support but it is great for the as well.”

READY TO PLAY: The South Burnett under-16 girls rugby league team will play at the Sunshine Coast on Friday night.
READY TO PLAY: The South Burnett under-16 girls rugby league team will play at the Sunshine Coast on Friday night. Claudia Williams

The South Burnett will also have an under-16 girls side playing in the Sunshine Coast competition.

Peter Casters is coaching the U16 side and has been involved with the girls' teams for five years now.

In the time Casters has been involved, it is the first year there is no U14 side.

"We have lost the U14s team this year because we only had three girls and two of them are playing up but the other ones can't because they are too young and they have had to miss out this year,” he said.

"Numbers are a bit low and we could do with some more girls in the 16s and over 18s.

"We are very short of numbers and we have just enough numbers for each team.”

Players in the U16 side have reach the forth tier of representative footy playing for the Central Crows and Casters is excited to see what the team can achieve when their season starts on the Sunshine Coast tonight.

"We have been in the grand final twice and we haven't won a grand final yet so we are looking for the next step,” he said.

"We have been beaten by Caboolture both years so we are going to stick it to Caboolture, they are the team to beat and they have got a massive area they can pull players from as well.”

The two side will play one another in Kingaroy at 11.30 on Saturday as part of the Red Ant's Pink Day.

"It will be a challenging game because I can guarantee the girls aren't going to take it easy on each other,” Sheather said.

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